My Group Agreement just doesn’t work anymore! We wrote it many years ago and have been living with it but want to make changes based on the things we’ve learned. Can we just change it or what’s the process?
Dear Need for Change,
The Group Agreement provides guidance and direction to the self-help participants and establishes your organization’s expectations. It lays out what the participants responsibilities are throughout the whole process and what they can expect from you. This can change as your program administration methods change or you learn new techniques, and the Group Agreement should change in stride. The Group Agreement should be viewed as a living, breathing document that may change with every building group or just get tweaked when you find something is missing – usually the hard way! You should be reviewing it to ensure that it meets your organization’s needs to successfully complete a build with minimal delays, conflict and confusion. When you make changes you should run them by your RCAC technical assistance provider and then submit your new agreement to USDA – Rural Development for review and approval.
And, by the way, size doesn’t matter! I’ve seen strong Group Agreements that are just a few pages long and others that could be considered a novel. Just keep your audience in mind as your drafting you’re agreement, legal ease will make it challenging for everyone and erroneous information will cause an equal amount of confusion.
Out with the old and in with the new!
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