A neighborhood association is a voluntary organization of neighbors, business owners and churches who work together to improve and maintain the quality of life in their neighborhood. Membership is open to all who reside or are located within a certain geographical area, but participation is optional. Some neighborhood associations choose to incorporate and register with the state as a nonprofit, but this is not required.
This is different from a homeowners' association (HOA), which is mandatory and is typically created by developers to pay for the maintenance of common amenities and to maintain a desired standard of appearance across the community. An HOA has the legal authority to collect dues and to enact or enforce maintenance or design requirements. A neighborhood association does not. Some neighborhood associations collect “dues”, but it is optional for residents to participate.
Benefits of Forming a Neighborhood Association
- Gives your neighborhood a voice in city government
- Increases a sense of ownership and pride in your neighborhood
- Identifies and addresses issues
- Increases safety
- Allows neighbors to participate in social events
- Educational events that are specific to the needs of your neighborhood
- Access to funding
- Coordinate with the city to know your neighborhood boundaries.
- Talk to your neighbors and find out who is interested in leading the formation of a neighborhood association.
- Choose a meeting place, date, and time for the first organizing meeting. (Remember that many families have work and school commitments so plan around those times.)
- Inform everyone in the neighborhood about the meeting and highlight the benefits of a neighborhood association via social media or knocking on doors and leaving information at each home.
- At the first meeting, you can adopt bylaws which include the following: stating the boundaries of the neighborhood association, identifying leaders or a board of directors, establishing roles and responsibilities for the board, establishing membership criteria, your meeting location, and the frequency that you will meet.
- Contact McKinney Neighborhood Services and report the formation of your brand-new neighborhood association.
- Sign up for the Neighborhood Services newsletter and other city-sponsored newsletters so you can stay informed and share information with your neighbors.
- Work with your neighbors to establish a list of issues affecting your neighborhood and begin to address them with the appropriate office or entity.
- Begin planning future meetings, events, or block parties.
- Continue to cultivate members.
- Neighborhoods, USA | Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA) is a national, non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations.
- Community Associations Institute DFW | The Dallas / Fort Worth Chapter of Community Associations Institute (DFW CAI) serves the educational, business, and networking needs of community associations in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.
- Property Owners' Associations (Texas State Law Library) | This legal research guide provides information on homeowners' associations in Texas, including links to relevant statutes, practice aids, and information in "plain English."
- City of McKinney Neighborhood Services | On-site trainings can be scheduled for your neighborhood leaders on topics such as how to lead a neighborhood meeting, Robert's Rules of Order, how to write an agenda, and others topics on request.
The purpose of this grant is to encourage neighborhoods that are not governed by an HOA to organize and meet for the benefit of the residents of the neighborhood and to promote a sense of community, increase safety, and offer the residents an avenue to have a voice in local government.
Approved Grant Expenses
The Neighborhood Association Grant provides $1,500 maximum reimbursement annually for expenses related to:
- Rental fees for meeting locations
- Entertainment for neighborhood block parties or social events
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages for neighborhood events
- Supplies for neighborhood events, such as paper goods and decorations
- Improvements in the landscaping of entrance areas
- Approved signage
- Other pre-approved expenditures
Prior to applying for a Neighborhood Association Grant, please email the City Neighborhood Engagement Administrator or call 972-547-1063.