Community Advocacy

Did you know that there is a difference between a Community Association and Resident Association?

A Community Association is non-profit organization that is responsible for its own fundraising. Most older communities, including Riverbend, use this model. The Riverbend Community Association (RCA) is the group that represents Riverbend as a whole on matters affecting the community including roads and playgrounds.

Community associations are formed by the residents of an area to support the social, educational and recreational needs of the neighbourhood. A community association can help build connections in the area through volunteer opportunities, events and programs such as fitness classes, social groups and child care.

As well as acting as a community liaison in civic matters, a community association helps plan, develop and maintain community facilities and amenities like a community hall or skating rink.

Having direct contact with the City Councillor, MLA, Police Liaison Officer, and other government officials, also helps with the association’s ability to provide feedback on the approval process regarding City development, transportation, and zoning plans.

Whereas membership is optional within the RCA the benefits of being a member include:

Ability to participate and register in community association-run events and programs, opportunity to volunteer in the neighbourhood whether as a board member, special event coordinator or committee member.

Eligibility to vote on things like acceptance of our audited financials and election of board members to name a few.

Many people believe that just by living in Riverbend, they are members of the of RCA. However, you must purchase an annual membership to be an actual member.

A Resident Association is a compulsory organization created by the land developer and receives funding from the City. Membership is mandatory for residents who are required to pay an annual fee which is added to a homeowner's property tax, collected by the City, and distributed back to the association. Fees usually include access to amenities such as a community lake or golf course, or hall rentals. Most newer neighbourhoods use this model.

The role of a resident association is to manage and maintain the marketable amenities of a development such as community entrance signage, ornamental parks and ponds, lakes, boulevard landscaping and buildings - items that the City is not responsible for up keeping.

Advantages of a resident association is that it is mandated to maintain the community facilities thus contributing to the long-term appeal of the neighbourhood.