WILLIAMSTOWN -- A committee charged with relocating current Spruces Mobile Home Park residents renamed itself and heard from representatives of Higher Ground during this week's meeting.
Members of the Long Term Coordinating Committee voted unanimously Monday night to rename the entity the Spruces Roof Group (SRG), agreeing that the previous name was too unwieldy.
"I feel it describes what we do -- provide roofs," committee member and Affordable Housing Committee Chairwoman Cathy Yamamoto said.
The seven-member committee was established this spring to bring chairs of town committees together to find the site of replacement housing for current residents of The Spruces, which was ravaged by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.
Guests during Monday's meeting included two members of the nonprofit Higher Ground: President Bilal Ansari and Case Management Supervisor Susan Puddester. The group was founded in the wake of the tropical storm to provide long-term recovery to residents displaced in the flood.
On June 21, Williams College announced it selected Higher Ground -- along with the Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, the Williamstown Elderly Housing Corporation and the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development -- to build affordable housing units on a 4-acre parcel it would donate. The parcel is adjacent to the 60-unit Proprietors Field development on Church Street.
Representatives from each partner organizations will be present at Higher Ground's annual meeting on July 15 to provide more information on the project timeline, he said.
Ansari also stressed that the team will seek input on the shape the project will take.
"We need to make sure that part of the process is that the community has a voice," he said.
Puddester told committee members that the group is currently in the process of collecting data from former and current residents of The Spruces.
The group has received 90 of the 120 surveys it sent out, and much of the data needs to be analyzed, Puddester said. The information collected, some of which is gathered anonymously, includes household size, income, source of income and how much people currently pay for housing.
"When you ask people if they want to stay in Williamstown, about a third say yes, a third say they don't know yet, and a third say no," she said.
The next meeting of the committee will be at 7 p.m., Monday, July 15.
To reach Edward Damon, email