The most notable difference between a neighborhood association, or NA, and a homeowners association, or HOA, is that NAs are voluntary.
HOAs are typically created by developers to help pay for the maintenance of common amenities and to maintain a desired standard of appearance across the community. In an HOA membership fees are usually required with the purchase of a home within the community. Once the neighborhood is completely built out—or all of the homes have been constructed —a property management organization might take over the developer’s role with the HOA.
NAs are usually made of volunteers working together to address an issue in their community such as beautification, unsafe intersections or sidewalks. NAs often work with city officials to try to address these issues. NAs also organize neighborhood social functions or contact information. NAs do not have the legal ability to enforce fees or restrictions on residents.