- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - The Bloomington City Council is giving permission to a Habitat for Humanity group to go ahead with plans to build a 35-home neighborhood.

Council members voted unanimously early Thursday to approve the proposal from Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County for the 7-acre development on the city’s northwest side. The vote came after several hours of discussion about conditions for the project, including a requirement for PCB testing on the property, The Herald-Times reported (https://bit.ly/1pzKjcT ).

Several council members said they believed the project would be a boost for the city.

“I’ve been for this from the very beginning,” Councilman Marty Spechler said. “We desperately need more affordable housing.”

The nonprofit group’s plans include building new streets and a designated green space at what is currently an undeveloped area surrounded by other neighborhoods.

Some residents have opposed the proposal, saying they didn’t want to lose one of the last wooded areas inside the city.

Kerry Thomson, president and CEO of the Habitat group, said city has few other areas available for building affordable housing and the area is also within walking distance of school and transportation services. She estimated it would take three years for the group to complete building homes in the neighborhood.

“It’s close to all of the services every family needs,” she said. “There simply are not enough infill lots remaining in the city of Bloomington to meet the needs of Bloomington families.”

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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