Our Neighborhoods

We are proud of our neighborhoods!  Our neighborhood program is among the most unique program in the country.  We are a UNITED group of neighborhoods that assist and represent all neighborhood associations in Evansville.  You can find this ever growing list on the left hand side.

A neighborhood association is a group of residents or property owners who advocate for or organize activities within a neighborhood. An association may have elected leaders and voluntary dues.  The term neighborhood association is sometimes incorrectly used instead of homeowners association (HOA). But neighborhood associations are not homeowners associations (HOA). A HOA is a group of property owners with the legal authority to enforce rules and regulations that focus on restrictions and building and safety issues. On the other hand, a neighborhood association is a group of neighbors and business owners who work together for changes and improvements such as neighborhood safety, beautification and social activities. They reinforce rules and regulations through education, peer pressure and by looking out for each other.

When moving to an area where a HOA exists, membership is mandatory and generally through rules tied to the ownership of property like deed restrictions. Neighborhood association membership is voluntary or informal.  HOAs often own and maintain common property, such as recreational facilities, parks, and roads, and the medians in those areas.  Whereas neighborhood associations are focused on general advocacy of neighborhood improvements and community events.  In some cases, neighborhood associations exist simultaneously with HOAs, and each may not encompass identical boundaries.

A neighborhood watch also sometimes called a crime watch, is an organized group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighborhood.  Most neighborhood associations encompass some form or spirit of a neighborhood watch.  Neighborhood watches are not vigilante organizations. When suspecting criminal activities, members are encouraged to contact authorities and not to intervene.

The current American system of neighborhood watches began developing in the late 1960s as a response to the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York. People became outraged after reports that a dozen witnesses did nothing to save Genovese or to apprehend her killer.  Some locals formed groups to watch over their neighborhoods and to look out for any suspicious activity in their areas. Shortly thereafter, the National Sheriffs’ Association began a concerted effort in 1972 to revitalize the “watch group” effort nationwide.

Today the United Neighborhoods of Evansville assists citizens in forming neighborhood watches and associations.

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