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WB01162_.GIF (871 bytes)Every resident controlled development has a Board of Directors.
Very few of these Directors, however, have experience running multi-family housing.
How can those Directors make sure that they are well-prepared for their work as a Director?

Well, first, they should make sure they have a competent trainer or consultant who can help them get started and help them through the tough parts (A Resources Page, with names and contacts, is coming). What kind of training should that person provide? The list is different for each development, depending on the size, management, financing and more. But here are some basics that every director should know.

bulletOwnership Structure- What is the legal structure of my development. Is is a co-op? a condo? a partnership? a non-profit? What are the legal documents that define that structure? Where do I look in those documents for answers to most questions?
bulletWho is in Charge? - How is the Board elected? What are the limits to their power? Who, if anyone, do they share power with?
bulletManagement - What is the Manager's job? How do we supervise them? How do we tell if they are doing a good job or not? How do we look for a new manager, if the time comes?
bulletPhysical Plant - What are the basic physical systems of our development (electric, heat, etc)? What service arrangements do we have for them? How long are they expected to last? How are they maintained?
bulletOccupancy - What legal contracts (leases, etc) do we have with residents? What do they say? What are our policies on late payment, pets, parking, guests, subletting and other issues?
bulletFair Housing - What are the state and federal fair housing laws that regulate us? How can current residents participate in resident selection? What other areas of occupancy (besides selection) do Fair Housing laws apply to?
bulletFinancial Management for Operations - Know how to read and understand your annual budget, and your financial reports. What are your fiduciary obligations as a Board? How can you tell when your development is in financial trouble?
bulletFinancial Management for Planning - What reserves do you have? Are they adequate? How are they funded? Whose permission do you need to access them?
bulletConflict Resolution - Conflicts are important. How can we use them to develop new ideas? How can we make sure they do not alienate Board members? How can we resolve them peacefully? What has worked for other developments?
bulletEffective Meetings - How can we make sure our meetings go well? What are the 3 ingredients to every successful meeting? What we have too much work to do? Who should chair the meeting? Do we need to take minutes?
bulletIncreasing Participation - How much participation is enough? How can you bring new people in? How is new leadership developed?

For information on getting training that addresses these issues, contact organizations on the Resources page of this web (currently under construction).

 

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Revised: October 02, 2003.

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