Good Neighbors

What Does It Mean to be a Good Neighbor?

Being a good neighbor means living with others in a social community called a “neighborhood.” People talking in their front yards, children playing on the sidewalk, people mowing lawns, and similar activities are all part of being neighbors. People are what make a neighborhood a living community rather than just a group of buildings.

Why Be a Good Neighbor?

Being a good neighbor helps make your neighborhood a better place to live. Neighborhoods with an active social life can make your home more desirable on the housing market. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The comfort of knowing what is happening in your neighborhood, being in on the flow of information The security of knowing you can rely on people for help; people who keep an eye on things and who will watch your property when you are gone
  • The personal pleasure that comes from being around people you like and are friends with
  • The identity of being part of a neighborhood group rather than just another resident

What is a Neighborhood Leader?

A Neighborhood Leader is a good neighbor who is willing to devote their time, talents and resources to help make their neighborhood a better place to live. A neighborhood leader does not attempt to promote change along, but employs a technique which includes the interests and efforts of fellow neighborhood members in the effort.

When Does a Neighborhood Need to Develop a Neighborhood Organization?

Various factors help a neighborhood to gain a sense of identity and feel a need to organize and develop a neighborhood organization. For example:

  • Changes in adjacent land use for such things as the location of a new school, shopping center, library or roadway
  • The need for neighborhood improvements such as additional street signage, lighting, etc.
  • The need to control crime or other such disturbances
  • Common design or architectural themes, such as in a historic district
  • Or just the normal aging process of a neighborhood

What are the Benefits to Forming a Neighborhood Organization?

Before you begin asking your neighbors to organize, you have to convince them of the benefit of forming a neighborhood organization. Some of the points to be made to your neighbors are that neighborhood organizations:

  • Facilitate meeting the neighborhood’s common goals
  • Empower a neighborhood to control what happens in the area
  • Provide the neighborhood with an effective communication link with local government officials and other influential groups
  • Help members work for the preservation and improvement of the neighborhood
  • Let members take part in the decision making process that directs the neighborhood’s actions
  • Can plan social activities for the neighborhood.
Information reprinted from the “How to Organize and Maintain a Neighborhood Association” guide distributed by the City of Tallahassee, FL Neighborhood Services Center.
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