HOAs vs CAs

What is the difference between a Community Association and a Homeowner’s Association (HOA)?

A Community Association is: An organization formed by the residents of an area: • To support the social, educational and recreational needs of the neighbourhood. • To build connections in the neighbourhood through volunteer opportunities, events and programs • To act as an community liaison in civic matters (planning and development) • To plan, develop and maintain community facilities and amenities such as community gardens, skating rinks. Advantages: • Membership in a Community Association is optional. • Offers the opportunity to become involved and connected in the neighbourhood. • Members have the opportunity to participate and register in Community Association run events and programs. • Members have the opportunity to volunteer in their neighbourhood (board members, special events, committees, etc.) • The Community Association receives development, transportation, and zoning plans from the city and the developers, and may provide feedback on the approval process; • The Community Association has direct contact with the Alderman, MLA, Police Liaison Officer and other government officials; • The Community Association can support the addition of new facilities and amenities in the neighbourhood.

A Residents/Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is: A compulsory organization created by a land developer: • To manage and maintain the “marketing” amenities of a development (entrance signage, ornamental parks and ponds, boulevard landscaping and buildings) that the City will not accept responsibility to maintain. • To manage and maintain amenities such as lakes and golf courses. • Membership is compulsory and the requirement to pay an annual fee is collected by the association through a caveat on property title. • An HOA is initialized by the Community when there is the desire to ensure a high degree of maintenance of the common amenities noted above. Advantages: • HOA’s are mandated to maintain the community amenities and physical elements installed by developers such as parks, playgrounds and other landscape features; • Residents enjoy amenity-rich environments which are maintained; thus preserving outdoor areas which contribute to the long-term appeal of the community. *Definitions taken in part from the Federation of Calgary Communities

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