Resident Associations

Are you or your neighbors considering organizing a resident association for your community?

There are many reasons why groups of residents come together for a common purpose. Do you wish to:

  • Improve communication with park management?
  • Advocate for improved park maintenance and services?
  • Build community spirit, cooperation and plan community activities?

The CVOEO Mobile Home Program offers resources for groups of residents who wish to self-start a resident association in their community. We assist groups creating their organizational structure, drafting bylaws, and establishing voting procedures, and we provide officer training.

If you would like assistance with a resident association, call us at (802) 660-3455 x204. 

Steps for forming a Resident Association

  1. Find out who is interested
  2. Determine what issues people are concerned about
  3. Form a steering committee
  4. Membership drive
  5. Park-wide meeting to vote on bylaws, elect officers & set goals
  6. Officer training

Finding your Association Structure

A resident association generally has a “communication triangle.” Interaction takes place between the association membership, the board of directors, and committees. Each has a unique role in keeping the other accountable, making recommendations, and completing tasks. 

Bylaws

The bylaws of an organization define the structure of an organization. It contains details regarding the rights and responsibilities of association members and the elected board of directors, as well as rules for the election and group decision-making process.

Ground Rules:

Ground rules for communication should be set early on in a group’s formation process. Ground rules can be simple but are a useful tool for ensuring that all feel welcome, open to offer their comments, keep a discussion on topic and make sure all feel respected. 

Facilitation:

Good facilitation is one key to running smooth and productive meetings. A facilitator has several roles in the context of a meeting. A facilitator typically:

  • Makes sure meeting attendees introduce themselves
  • Stays impartial, keeps a conversation moving, and ensures all present have an equal opportunity to speak
  • Keeps the conversation under control and makes sure ground rules are followed
  • Encourages those who are quiet to speak and those who are talkative to share the “air time”
  • Offers clarification and summarizes discussion to make sure all are on the same page and checks to see if there is agreement on decisions.
  • Either keeps time or appoints a timekeeper

Record Keeping:

Meeting minutes are a written record or notes, usually written by the secretary of an organization. Meeting minutes, or notes, typically include the date, a list of meeting attendees, a summary of the issues discussed and the results of any votes or decisions made. Meeting minutes do not need to record discussion word-for-word, rather minutes should include decisions made. If a vote took place at a meeting, typically the names of the individuals who made and seconded a motion are included in the notes.

Agendas

A meeting agenda is a list of subjects that a group intends to discuss at a scheduled board or membership meeting. An agenda is a useful tool for helping to keep a discussion focused on specific topics. Preparing an agenda in advance of a meeting gives members and opportunity to prepare for a discussion or determine whether or not the subjects being discussed are relevant to their needs and concerns.

Recruitment: Strategies for engaging and informing membership

Surveys—A survey could be a brief list of questions that you distribute to each household in your community that asks them to list their three top concerns in the community or you might ask neighbors to rate how much they support certain activities. The goal of a survey is to collect feedback from neighbors on focused topic areas.

Benefits of a survey…

  • Helps determine the interests and concerns of neighbors
  • It can easily show trends (in what areas there is agreement or disagreement)
  • Can guide the priorities of a resident association

Newsletter—It is a publication issued that includes current news, a list of upcoming events, a summary of association achievements, or resources that neighbors might find interesting or useful.  It could be issued on an annual or monthly basis.

Benefits of a newsletter…

  • It educates neighbors on the hard work their association is doing
  • When people are aware of what is going on, they are more likely to volunteer and become involved

Community Activities—Many communities choose to host annual cookouts, green up day activities, or children’s events as ways to build community spirit, clean up, and take pride in their community.

Benefits of activities…

  • Offers a way to recruit volunteers face-to-face
  • A casual way to meet neighbors and learn about their interests, skills and talents

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CVOEO addresses fundamental issues of economic, social, and racial justice and works with people to achieve economic independence.


 

Serving more than 10,000 households annually,
impacting the lives of over 20,000 individuals