Moving into a new home is an exciting time but moving into a new homes development also offers great social opportunities, such as making friends with new neighbours.
At Greenbelt we know that bringing neighbours closer together is key to helping new communities thrive and there’s no better way to do this than by setting up a Residents’ Association (RA).
So here’s the Greenbelt Guide to help you establish an RA in your new development.
Starting out: the first meeting
If you’re interested in setting up an RA be proactive and organise a first meeting.
Don’t worry about numbers – this may just be a few neighbours getting together at home or in a nearby café.
Your aim is to establish a small group, stimulate interest and share ideas.
Growing your RA: time to plan
Share your RA’s vision by establishing its goals and its structure.
Pool your resources by talking with more neighbours – this way even a small group can grow and bring together an entire community.
You can also share information through social media or printed leaflets.
It’s official: the first public meeting
A Residents’ Association is for everyone and so everyone must have the chance to have a voice. That’s why it’s important to invite all members of the community to the first public meeting.
It’s important to listen and discuss the things that matter most to residents.
You should also discuss your RA’s constitution: this is a distinct set of principles your Association will be guided by.
Who is doing what: elections
The public meeting also offers the chance to elect the executive committee – those residents who are happy take on lead roles. Generally, these are Chair, who’ll run the Association, Vice-Chair, who supports them, Secretary, who minutes meetings, manages emails and connects with the wider community and the Treasurer, who handles sets up the RA’s bank account and handles funds.
Dates in the diary: a timetable for meetings
You can agree how often the Association will meet. Whether fortnightly, monthly or quarterly, you need consistency to ensure members and interested parties, such as local councillors, can plan ahead to attend.
The AGM, where progress is analysed and the executive committee elections held, should be held every 12-15 months.
The final step: a happy community
Above all, the RA exists to bring neighbours closer together and to ensure your development will always be a happy and safe place. So remember the most important step: always work together . . . and enjoy yourself!