Is Resident Association’s Fundraising for Resident Activities Permitted?
Q Our site has a “mini-mart”: A resident association buys snack foods at a retail warehouse club and resells them in a room provided by the owner. The profits are used to fund resident activities. Is this permitted?
A Affordable housing expert Colleen Bloom had the same practice at the first senior community she worked in. According to her, as this is a resident-driven activity, using resident funds and raising funds for the resident association, there are no HUD rules that she is aware of that would prohibit it. “In fact, I think it is both a great service to the residents and a good way for the resident association to raise funds,” states Bloom.
With regard to resident associations, HUD promotes and recognizes the benefits of a good relationship with residents. According to HUD, resident involvement can help maintain the physical conditions of the site, ensure proper maintenance, improve security, contribute to improvements in energy efficiency, and control operating costs. For these reasons, the rules that HUD has implemented with regard to resident associations protects the right of residents to organize and advocate for their best interests.
The participation requirements are provided in 24 CFR Part 245 of the regulations, which require owners of privately owned, HUD-assisted multifamily housing to recognize resident organizations. Additionally, Notice H 2016-05 states the requirements. And 24 CFR 245.115 identifies activities that owners and managers must allow residents and resident organizers to conduct related to the establishment or operation of a resident organization. These activities include:
- Distributing leaflets in lobbies, common areas, and under residents’ doors, and posting information on bulletin boards;
- Initiating contact with residents and conducting door-to-door surveys to ascertain interest in establishing a resident organization and to offer information about the resident organization;
- Offering assistance for residents to participate in resident organization activities; and
- Convening resident organization meetings on-site in a manner that’s fully independent of management representatives. To preserve the independence of resident organizations, management representatives are not allowed to attend such meetings unless invited by the resident organization to a specific meeting to discuss a specific issue.
HUD rules give resident organizations the right to hold regularly scheduled meetings on site premises. Owners and managers must reasonably make available the use of any community room or other available space appropriate for meetings when requested by residents or the resident organization for activities related to the operation or establishment of the resident organization or to collectively address issues related to their living environment.
In addition, owners must give priority to meeting spaces that provide physical access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with the regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as applicable. All programs or activities must be held in accessible locations unless the owner can demonstrate that doing so would result in a fundamental alteration of the program or an undue financial and administrative burden. The owner must take any action that would not result in such an alteration or such burden but would ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.
Individuals with disabilities must receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. In addition, if owners and management agents organize or facilitate such meetings, then they must take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services as applicable and required by Section 504 and/or the ADA. Similarly, owners and management agents of applicable sites must make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.