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Fairway Oaks residents to have soil tested

Residents say HabiJax homes poorly constructed

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fairway Oaks residents, who blame HabiJax for poor construction that left their homes falling apart, will have their soil tested Saturday though a workshop called Go Green Soilshop.

The workshop offers free soil screening for lead.

For over two months, the News4Jax I-TEAM has been digging into reports that showed the area in Northwest Jacksonville, in which HabiJax chose to build the 85 homes in 2000, is located near a landfill that may not have been lined in the 1950s.

Within five years after the homes were built by HabiJax and 10,000 volunteers in 17 days, residents said that they noticed their homes were shaking and unsettled, and homeowners also began complaining about cracked slabs, sinking, mold and termites.

During a private meeting Wednesday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told residents that he would never sign off on anything that would require them to stay on contaminated land. The Environmental Protection Agency will also be working with the mayor's office.

"Just yesterday, the federal EPA came out and actually stated they want to come out and do more soil boring on the soil. So that will probably be the first thing before getting back with the mayor. They will be contacting the EPA and see when they're going to come back out and do those soil borings so that's the next up," said Nathaniel Borden, president of the Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association.

As soon as Curry finds out when the EPA will be able to do more testing, Borden said, residents will meet again with the mayor to go over the results.