Unlike homeowners' associations, membership in a neighborhood association is voluntary, according to eHow.com. Neighborhood associations unite residents with common interests and concerns in defined neighborhoods. They are organized to promote such goals as maintaining property values, providing social networking opportunities and providing input to city leaders regarding zoning decisions.
Neighborhood associations can be informal groups or recognized legal entities, depending upon the members' wishes. Members also determine whether dues are to be assessed or whether the group uses fundraisers to finance activities, explains eHow. Neighborhood associations that are recognized by city government provide its members with a means of effective communication with city officials, notes the City of Vancouver, Washington.