What is a neighborhood association and what is it for?
Neighborhood associations are entities formed by residents of a given geographical area with the objective of improving the living conditions of the community and defending their interests. Through the association, neighbors can work together to solve common problems and improve the quality of life in their environment.
Neighborhood associations usually have a board of directors made up of neighbors elected by the community itself, which is responsible for managing the association and making decisions necessary for the welfare of the community.
The main functions of neighborhood associations include the following:
- Promote coexistence and participation of neighbors in community life.
- Defend the interests and needs of the community before public administrations.
- Organize activities and events to enhance the social and cultural life of the community.
- Manage problems and conflicts that may arise in the community.
In addition, neighborhood associations can also perform other functions, such as managing community facilities, promoting urban and environmental improvement initiatives, or collaborating in the organization of sports activities, among others.
What is the difference between association and community?
It is common to confuse the term “neighborhood association” with “homeowners’ association”, however, they are different but related concepts.
A community of owners refers to a group of owners of a building or group of buildings, which share common elements and are subject to specific regulations governing their operation and management. In this case, the owners have obligations and responsibilities that must be fulfilled in relation to the conservation and maintenance of the common elements, and the management of the common expenses and budgets.
On the other hand, a neighborhood association is an organization created by the neighbors themselves with the aim of defending their common interests, promoting community improvement projects and fostering coexistence among neighbors. In this case, it is not necessary to be a homeowner to be part of the association, and the management of common affairs is not subject to specific regulations, as in the case of the community of owners.
How to create a neighborhood association?
Creating a neighborhood association is not a complicated process, but it requires following certain steps and meeting certain requirements. Before starting, it is important to keep in mind that the creation of a neighborhood association is a process that involves the collaboration and commitment of the entire community.
Steps to create a neighborhood association:
- Meeting of neighbors: the first thing to do is to call a meeting with the neighbors interested in forming the association. The purpose of the association, its objectives and functions should be explained at this meeting.
- Drafting the by-laws: after the meeting, the association’s by-laws must be drafted. These bylaws are a set of rules and regulations that establish the functioning of the association and the rights and obligations of the members. The bylaws should contain important information such as the name and address of the association, the objectives and purposes of the association, the rights and duties of the members, the rules for the election and renewal of the board of directors, the rules for holding assemblies and meetings, the manner in which voting is to be conducted and the provisions for the dissolution of the association. It is essential that the bylaws be clear and precisely drafted, as they will be the basis for the organization and operation of the association. In addition, the bylaws should be updated periodically to adapt to changes in the situation of the association and the needs of its members.
- Constitution of the association: once the bylaws have been drafted, the association must be constituted before a notary public. For this purpose, the bylaws and a list of the founding members, as well as their personal data, must be kept.
- Registration in the National Registry of Associations: Once the association is constituted, it must be registered in the National Registry of Associations of the Ministry of the Interior. To do so, the application and the necessary documentation must be submitted.
To carry out this procedure, it is necessary to submit an application at the Government Delegation or Subdelegation of the province where the registered office of the association is located.As for the presentation of the application, it is possible to do it in person at the corresponding Government Delegation or Subdelegation, or through the telematic platform of the National Registry of Associations, available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.It is important to note that electronic processing is only available for those associations that have a digital certificate or electronic ID.
- Election of the Board of Directors: after registration of the association, the election of the Board of Directors, which will be in charge of the management and direction of the association, must be carried out.
What are the regulations governing the establishment of a neighborhood association?
Benefits of a neighborhood association
A neighborhood association is a valuable tool for neighbors who live in the same area and want to work together to improve their quality of life. In this way, neighborhood associations have multiple benefits for the members of the community. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Participation in community life: neighborhood associations offer their members the opportunity to actively participate in the life of their community. Neighbors can share their ideas, concerns and proposals to improve their environment and work together on projects that benefit everyone.
- Defense of common interests: the neighborhood association is a body that represents the neighbors before public and private institutions. Thanks to it, neighbors can assert their rights and interests on issues such as urban planning, environment, public safety, etc.
- Improvement of public services: through the neighborhood association, neighbors can work together to achieve improvements in public services in their area. For example, they can demand that the streets be cleaned more frequently or that more litter garbage cans be installed.
- Promotion of coexistence and solidarity: the neighborhood association is a place where neighbors can get to know each other better and establish relationships of friendship and collaboration. This fosters coexistence and solidarity among neighbors, which contributes to creating a more pleasant and welcoming environment in the community.
- Access to information and resources: the neighborhood association can be a valuable source of information for neighbors, for example, on issues related to zoning regulations or grants available to improve the area. In addition, the neighborhood association can manage resources and services that benefit all members of the community, such as cultural or sports activities.