Efforts to build a development for nearly three dozen low-income families in Bloomington are moving forward. The city council has approved Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County's initial plans for the seven-acre B-Line Neighborhood. The nonprofit is now working to line up bids and could break ground this fall. March 28, 2014

News Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved the plans for the B-line neighborhood. There will be a final design approval by the Plan Commission on May 5th at 5:30 p.m. The neighborhood plan passed unanimously with two reasonable conditions. The first requires a native planting plan to be developed by Habitat (in addition to the tree preservation plan, which Habitat included in the neighborhood submission). The second consideration was related to additional soil testing. It was determined that no additional testing was required on the parcel where the Habitat homes will be built. Additional soil testing will be conducted on a small area to the southwest of the neighborhood and the area will be cleaned if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions About the B-Line Neighborhood:

Where is the B-Line Neighborhood and what does it include?

The B-Line Neighborhood will be located on a 7-acre property on the northwest side of Bloomington. The land lies to the south of the intersection of Diamond Street and West Cottage Grove Avenue, between the B-Line Trail and rail line. It sits within a Residential Core area of the city of Bloomington. The neighborhood plan includes both single-family homes and garden homes (all owner-occupied) for a total of 35 local families along with a common green space and preserved woods to both the west and east. Located just south of the B-line trail, residents will have an easy walk to schools, parks, and downtown Bloomington.

Why did Habitat choose this particular property?

Habitat acquired a portion of the property in 2010 from a private owner. The City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation department had been offered the land initially and chose not to acquire it. Since 2010 Habitat has also acquired additional parcels of surrounding land which will be preserved woods. By building a neighborhood community in the city's core, Habitat addresses multiple priorities stated by the City of Bloomington, such as a more concentrated residential core, limiting fuel dependence through access to local transit systems and a location walking-distance to local employers and amenities, limiting urban sprawl, and promoting access to locally-owned businesses.

How will Habitat utilize green-building techniques in the B-line neighborhood?

Habitat will continue to do several things to promote an energy-efficient, green building model. In fact, in 2013, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County was named an Affiliate of Distinction by Habitat for Humanity International, which includes recognition of the affiliate's use of green building methods and community development that is durable and conserves resources well. Habitat will:

Energy Star 5+ certify all homes

Utilize a tree preservation plan and a replanting plan co-developed with a city tree committee along with input from surrounding neighborhoods

Clear only the trees absolutely necessary

Use features such as native plant rain gardens where possible, as we did in our first neighborhood, Cedar Chase

Build very energy efficient homes. We have the top HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) ratings in Monroe County currently

Who are Habitat homeowners and what will this neighborhood bring to Bloomington?

Habitat faces an increasing need for decent, affordable housing for hard-working families. The B-line neighborhood will not only create much needed housing for working families, but also enhance Bloomington with stable, permanent homeowners in the city core. Habitat homeowners all pay interest-free mortgages for their homes. They do not receive them for free – the homes are repaid. All costs are passed on to the homeowners. Homes and lots are sized and designed to maintain affordability so the homeowners can be successful. Habitat's track record of homeowner success is strong, with a foreclosure rate well below the national average. Habitat homeowners:

increase the tax base through paying property taxes, and

Build very energy efficient homes. We have the top HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) ratings in Monroe County currently

stabilize schools as they move from transitory to permanent residents

have helped stabilize neighborhoods and found neighborhood associations

What is the timeline for this neighborhood?

Final Plan Commission review of the neighborhood design will be May 5th at 5:30 p.m.. Infrastructure is slated to begin this summer with home construction starting in fall 2014.

How can I be involved with this neighborhood?

Habitat will be seeking input and participation from the community on the details of Considerable Resolution 1, which focuses on the tree preservation and replanting plans. Of course, volunteers will build these homes in partnership with the families who will live in them. You can share your suggestions with Kerry Thomson at 812-331-4069 x206 or by email, You can visit our Volunteer page for more information about how to volunteer on our build sites. – See more at: http://www.monroecountyhabitat.org/blogs/feature-stories/2014/03/27/BLineFAQ#sthash.KcJIEchI.dpuf

Source: Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County

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