What is a Homeowners Association?

 

One of the most frequent questions we hear is “What is the difference between a Homeowners’ Association and a Community Association”? The information below tries to explain these differences. 



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.