There are potentially two options for existing neighborhoods to organize. Depending on where the boundaries are established would determine if the neighborhood qualifies to be an NA (Neighborhood Association) or NIA (Neighborhood Improvement Association).
NIAs are defined in City Code and can be established in areas where 51% of the residents are low to moderate income. Neighborhoods that do not meet this threshold can establish a Neighborhood Association. There are no specific requirements to become an NA, nor are they required to obtain approval/certification from the City of Topeka.
To assist your neighborhood in organizing, below you will find guidance and general suggestions:
- Obtain 25 signatures from residents in your neighborhood on a petition
- Establish boundaries
- Create a name for your NA
- Find a meeting location and determine meeting frequency
- Prepare objectives and goals for a mission statement
- Formulate a list of strategies to solicit possible donors to financially support NA newsletters, supplies and other activities for the betterment of your neighborhood
- Once all this is established you may hold your first meeting to select a officers
- Utilize social media and/or email trees to communicate on a regular basis
- Notify Housing and Neighborhood Development to get your organization listed on the City’s website
Ultimately, how formal the structure of the NA is up to you. We do offer sample petitions, sample bylaws and a sample agenda that can be modified as you see fit.