Any construction project causes inconvenience, but the challenging part of homeWorks is that, for the most part, residents will continue to live in their units during construction.
homeWorks has been planned so that most residents will be able to stay in the unit even while work is going on. Their kitchens and baths will be available for use every night, so relocation will not be necessary in most buildings.
Recognizing the needs of building residents, and acknowledging past problems with delays during previous construction projects, Seattle Housing Authority has taken a new approach with homeWorks. The project's contractor and construction manager, W.G. Clark, is experienced in working successfully in occupied public housing and has been involved in planning the work from the beginning.
A key part of the construction contract requires taking steps to minimize disturbance to residents, and to maintain a schedule with strict deadlines for how long the work will take in each resident's unit. These expectations and a clear outline of the effects of construction on residents are laid out in advance.
A phone line has been set up to answer resident questions, and a series of building meetings leads up to the start of construction to inform residents of what will happen in their buildings.
During construction, information about progress is provided on dedicated bulletin boards and in The Voice resident newspaper. Seattle Housing Authority also works closely with service providers to identify and address issues that come up during construction.
The agency has also hired a communications liaison specifically for the project, to work with both residents and construction workers to ensure that the needs of all parties are met.