You’re no doubt aware of the Fair Housing Act (FHA); it prohibits housing providers such as HOAs from refusing to sell real estate to a person due to their race or gender, among other things.
However, just because a protected class under the FHA moves into your HOA neighborhood does not mean that their voice will be heard during board meetings, or that they will feel welcome in a large neighborhood of people who, conceivably, could be very different from them. It’s an HOA’s duty to build community by making everyone feel like they belong, but do you need to do anything special to make protected classes feel welcome and heard?
Gassen, an Eden Prairie provider of property management services, has the answers below.
Lend a Hand Just Like You Would with Anyone Else
Even though we’re all human at the end of the day, it’s important to note that moving into an HOA neighborhood might prove difficult in certain respects for specific protected classes. As a neighbor and fellow community member, you can help them adjust by:
● Going over the rules with them. You’d do this with any new HOA member if they asked, right? It’s especially important, though, if that new HOA member’s first language isn’t English. Rulebooks can be difficult to work through for native speakers, but imagine if only half of the words make sense! Never assume your new HOA member will need your help with it, but if they ask, being there to lend a hand is one of the most helpful things you can do.
● Being sensitive to their needs. You’d do this for any other neighborhood resident who needed something; protected classes are no different. For example, if your newest HOA member is disabled, your HOA management board might consider installing a wheelchair ramp by the pool. As a bonus, this ramp can serve as the pool’s shallow end for the neighborhood’s young kids.
● Helping them with difficult tasks. Is your new member a mom with a ton of kids? Offer to watch them while she gets some required yard work done. Different tasks render themselves more or less difficult depending on life circumstances; don’t judge, but instead, lend a hand!
All HOA Members Should Feel Welcome; It’s Part of Our Mission at Gassen
We strive to bring excellence to where you live; excellence, in terms of HOAs, doesn’t happen without close-knit communities. For individualized online property management and accounting property management, give us a call today at 952-922-5575, or you can message us on our contact page.