Association Committees and How You Can Make Yours More Efficient and Effective

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The effort and resources it takes to effectively govern a homeowners association requires collaboration and cooperation from more than one person. As such, the use of committees in community associations can be a very useful tool for accomplishing the goals of the association. However, in order to be most effective, committees should be well formed with specific purposes and guidelines for their operation. 

Statutory Authority to Form Committees

Section 38-33.3-303(3)(b) of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) states that committees of an association must be appointed pursuant to the governing documents of the association or, if the governing documents do not contain applicable provisions, pursuant to section 7-128-206 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Act. 

General Types of Committees and Examples
  • Executive Committees
    • These committees are composed of members of the HOA board only.
      • Violation Hearing Committee
      • Legal Committee
  • Standing Committees
    • These committees usually pertain to ongoing tasks and meet as long as those tasks are required.
      • Architectural Review Committee
      • Safety Committee
      • Community Activities Committee
  • Ad Hoc or Special Committees
    • These committees are used to address specific issues and concerns and only meet for as long as necessary to resolve the issue or concern. 
      • Construction Defect Committee
      • Renovation Committee
      • Special Project Committee
Creating Committees

Generally, standing committees are created first, as some may be required by your governing documents. Look to your bylaws to determine the specific methodology to create a committee in your community. This usually involves the drafting of a committee charter. The charter should provide the general structure of the committee, including its purpose, authority and any constraints. Well described goals and objectives will help committee members to more effectively achieve those goals and objectives. The charter should clearly define benchmarks for productivity, including deadlines for providing reports to the board and the frequency of feedback from the board on certain matters. Finally, the charter should provide for the composition and term of the board. Will the committee be composed of homeowners, board members or a mix? How long will each member serve? Boards should also consider whether or not any association members have any special skills which might make them especially useful for certain committees (i.e. someone with landscaping experience or a communications specialist). 

Best Practices

Each community association will have unique needs that will result in different committees being utilized for a variety of purposes. However, there are some general best practices when using committees that will help make them more effective. 


First and foremost, make sure your board is communicating it’s appreciation to committee members for volunteering their time. For many people, their personal time is precious. As such, make sure to adequately acknowledge each member's time and contribution. When governing an association, we sometimes forget that it is a neighborhood and its members are our neighbors. Being gracious to one another is the best way to encourage effective cooperation and avoid conflict.


Although one of the main reasons why executive boards create committees is to delegate certain tasks, they should not be used to delegate executive decision making. A well formed committee will lend credibility when a board follows their recommendations, but ultimately, an association must follow its governing documents with regard to executive authority, and most association’s require the board to have the final say in most circumstances. By regularly communicating with their committees and providing meaningful feedback, boards can be confident that recommendations from those committees will be well thought out and thoroughly reviewed. 

Regular Review

Finally, make sure your board is regularly reviewing the association’s processes and procedures regarding committee formation and operation. Community circumstances will change and association needs will require adjustment. By regularly reviewing the documents associated with committees, boards can remain proactive and make the necessary changes while they can still be most effective, rather than making those changes reactively.