By Martin J. Kidston
Several homes that have been the source of controversy the past few months were vandalized Tuesday night, raising the stakes in a program that was originally intended to give needy families a place to stay while searching for long-term housing.
The two homes, located on Wilson Avenue, sustained damage when vandals ripped screans, bent and dented the aluminum siding, and kicked in several window covers. The amount of damage has not been determined.
The homes are part of the Human Resource Development Council's transitional housing program -- a program intended to assist families in need of supportive housing. However, the program has come under fire by neighboring residents who have maintained that the homes and their future residents will lower property values in the Highland Park neighborhood.
Executive Director of HRDC Tom Bolan called the act unfortunate, but maintained that the transitional housing program will go ahead as scheduled.
"I think its unfortunate that these homes have been vandalized," Bolan said. "However, we still look forward to resolving the zoning issues so we can move forward with the project."
Capt. Mark Stolen of the Havre Police Department is investigating the incident.