Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County began its fifth annual Building Blitz Monday in the West Point neighborhood in Bloomington. The Blitz is an event where professional homebuilders and contractors volunteer their time and materials to build new Habitat homes.
However many West Pointe residents were upset they weren’t properly notified in advance of the excavations of the properties.
Sarah Taylor is a homeowner in the neighborhood, and says she found out about the build when excavators were in the process of removing shrubs from her property.
“The mission is the mission of habitat and I totally agree with that,” Taylor said. “I don’t think anyone in this neighborhood disagrees with that. But it was the communication and the project management that we had a problem with.”
Habitat wasn’t required to notify the residents of West Pointe, however Kerry Thomson, CEO of Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, held a neighborhood meeting a few weeks after the excavating began. Thomson said they’re making changes in their process to prevent such issues from arising in the future.
“What we’ve done is we have moved up the reminder for us that we need to do neighborhood outreach earlier in the construction process before we break ground and pull permits on the house,” Thomson said.
Habitat purchased seven properties in the West Pointe neighborhood. They expect all of the homes to be built by February.
Taylor has started a blog keeping neighbors informed about the developments, and she and other residents have reinstated West Pointe’s neighborhood association.