I'm not quite sure where this question belongs, here or in SO, so please migrate this if appropriate.


The large homeowners association (HOA) that I live in could really benefit from entering the 21st century in terms of management and communication with residents. There are quite a few commercial desktop and web apps for this, but I have been unable to find anything in the open source world, especially something that's targeted at HOAs or condo associations.


There's a lot that could go into this kind of software, but what I'm most interested in implementing is:

  1. Allowing residents to submit:
    • Maintenance requests (work orders) with form + OpenLayers map
    • Architectural violations + map
    • Architectural change applications
  2. Allowing staff, board members, and other authorized users to:
    • Review and track items from 1.
  3. Provide calendar of events
  4. Provide communications including:
    • Notification of events
    • Notification of work orders/violations/etc
    • Assessment notice
  5. Document repository for agenda, meeting minutes, newsletters, policy documents, etc.

There could also be an accounting portion, but I think it's best to leave that out for now. Perhaps this system could be designed modularly to later allow either interfacing with existing accounting systems or to have a full blown online accounting system.

I know this touches on a lot of areas, like Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Content Management Systems (CMS), and others.

The Question

Are there existing FOSS web apps for HOAs? Are there other web apps which can be suitably modified? If it's a no to both of these, what framework would be suitable to use? My guess is that Django, Ruby on Rails, etc would all be suitable.

Related commercial software

You can take a look at these to see what kinds of functionality is offered by the commercial apps:

  • SenEarthCo
  • TOPS Professional
  • Buildium
    • association-management.buildium.com
  • List of other HOA software
    • www.capterra.com/association-management-software
  • Another list of HOA software
    • www.softwareadvice.com/property-management/community-hoa-software-comparison
  • To clarify, I'm completely willing to modify or extend existing projects to meet this goal, so I'm not simply looking for a ready made solution (though it would be great if that existed!). I have basic familiarity with Python, PHP, SQL, and am ready to learn whatever is necessary. – joshdoe Mar 31 '11 at 14:00
  • amazing how this was asked 5 years ago and this still appears to be the most relevant discussion on the subject. How did you fare? – Andre Luus Sep 22 '16 at 9:29
  • @AndreLuus: Unfortunately I didn't pursue this very far. I got something basic going, but this was all volunteer, and the board didn't seem very interested in my help, so I dropped it. Because of my involvement with OpenStreetMap at the time, my focus was on the mapping aspect and didn't go further than that. – joshdoe Sep 22 '16 at 19:43
  • Ah okay, no problem. I've done some additional research myself and haven't really come up with anything either. Thanks anyway. – Andre Luus Sep 23 '16 at 14:02

The featured you explained could be easily achieved keeping drupal as base. It will just 2-3 days work.

Follow these steps.

  • Install Drupal.
  • Create content types for Maintenance requests, Architectural violations, Architectural change applications.
  • Use CCK to create all custom fields that you may require for each.
  • Use this module or this one for mapping in any content type as required.
  • Use User->Roles and create user roles like admin, boardmember, authorized etc...
  • Use User->Permission to set permissions for each roles.
  • Event Related features can be achieved using enter link description herethis module.
  • For notification you can use this module or this.
  • Use this for document repository or if its just to store you can make a content type and create an attachment field so use can upload. That would keep it simple.
  • Enable books in core modules and you can use that for things like policy documents.
  • Use this for Newsletter.
  • For accounts you can use this module.

That will be it. Additionally you can use the views module and then create a theme for, and do few codes to integrate all this, so that it work in one piece. It would take maximum of 7 days maybe to have this thing functional. I have seen some friends at Tridz doing something similar in drupal.

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  • Wow, thanks for the very detailed answer. I actually came to the same conclusion about using Drupal, though I wasn't sure where to start. Very much appreciated. All I have to decide now is whether to use version 6 or 7! – joshdoe Apr 5 '11 at 15:34
  • Using 6 would be a wise decision as many of the plugins may still have to catch up to version 6 and another major issue will lack of online resources on relatively new drupal 7. – esafwan Apr 5 '11 at 17:06
  • I'm trying to understand how I would handle users, roles, and accounts (HousingUnit's). A user can be an Owner of one or more HousingUnit's, and a HousingUnit can have more than one Owner. A user can also be a Resident of exactly one HousingUnit, though not more than one. So some users will own and reside at one unit, while others may own multiple units and reside at none of them. If a user is not a Resident, then they must have a MailingAddress in their profile. Seems like I'm getting myself into a lot of custom code! – joshdoe Apr 5 '11 at 17:39

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