Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation dissolves after 45 years

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After serving local homeowners associations for 45 years, the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation (NAHC) has officially dissolved. 

The organization was known for giving its neighborhoods a powerful voice and providing them with the necessary resources to flourish.

Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation helps its neighbors

The group was chartered in 1979 as a not-for-profit corporation in Illinois, by original directors J. Jacob Kobus, Ann E. Kanter, Frank Scamardi, Peg Price, and Bruce Kamp.

“I am told that back in the late [1970s], there was a major development that was controversial planned for the area near 75th [Street] and Gartner and the group got together to lobby against it,” said Bob Fischer, past president of the NAHC.

The group was a voluntary umbrella organization involving several homeowners and homeowners associations. It was a community of neighbors helping neighbors achieve mutual goals.

The NAHC did this by creating a loud community voice for the neighborhoods, petitioning against developments residents were against, and offering advice, assistance, education, and resources to the homeowners associations involved.

“We provided access to attorneys who specialized in homeowners law. We provided access to landscape companies, [and] to arborists. If you needed these people, we could help you find them,” said Fischer.

The NAHC was also known for its monthly newsletters, and candidate and school board forums, where candidates sat with the organization and answered community questions.

The Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation begins facing challenges

At its peak in the mid-1990s, the group had 15 board members and over 100 homeowners associations in membership roles. In the early 2000s, its monthly 8:00 a.m. meetings would have 40 to 60 people in attendance. 

Early signs of difficulties began around 2012 when the NAHC struggled to find new volunteers to fill leadership roles in the group.

“In the last 20 years, individual homeowners willing to step up and take the heat for running their association became less and less popular, people just didn’t want the hassle, and more and more homeowners associations hired management companies to take care of them,” said Fischer.

The situation worsened as years passed with the final blow coming in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The NAHC scheduled its last public meeting for March 21, 2020, but the lockdown prevented the meeting from happening and the group never met again.

Its last event was a municipal election candidate forum in 2023 before calling it quits that year after its final newsletter in May. Despite its efforts to stay afloat, the remaining five members decided to officially dissolve the group this past May.

“We kept the lights on for a year and finally decided that it was time to divvy up the treasury. Give it to people who could make some use out of it,” said Fischer.

The board divided its funds among NCTV17, 360 Youth Services, and Loaves & Fishes Community Services, in a Facebook post the group said.

Preserving the group’s history

Fischer plans to leave an archive of the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation’s history at Naper Settlement to preserve the memory of the group’s contributions to the community. Though the organization is no longer active, Fischer hopes the NAHC’s purpose will live on.

“I’d like to see some active voices who are not necessarily doctrinaire voices, but people who care about their neighbors, care about their neighborhoods, who are willing to go out and take the time to go and tell the city leadership, tell the park district leadership, ‘this is what we’d like to see happen,” said Fischer.

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