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Organize a Neighborhood Association

What is it? At its most basic, a neighborhood association is just a group of neighbors coming together to work towards the common goal of making their community a better place.  This organization can then act as an advocate for the neighborhood.  The association provides a collective voice with which to communicate neighborhood needs and desires to officials and other residents.  By providing a way for residents to come to together, neighborhood associations help identify shared concerns, identify resources and solutions, and, ultimately, empower the community.

How has it been used? The Rock Spring Civic Association in Arlington, VA has been working for many years to inform, and advocate for, the members of their neighborhood.  The association’s neighborhood includes 1000 homes in northern Arlington and has been in existence since 1950. The Association has become engaged on issues as diverse as fair housing, voter registration and pollution.  Successes include preventing the extension of a major road that would have dramatically impacted the character of the community; spearheading the installation of a new neighborhood park, and reducing the adverse effects from inadequate preparation for storm water runoff.  All of this has been done in addition to their regular business of community gatherings and information sharing (Source: The Rock Spring Civic Association)

Further Reading

Organize a Neighborhood Association – City of Hampton

Organizing Your Neighborhood – City of Roanoke

Taking Action! A Manual for Neighborhood Associations – City of College Station

Neighborhood Association Tool Kit – City of Providence