That’s great that there is so much interest in the hogs there.
Don’t worry about the houses being close together. It might take a while for the hogs to accept them – sometimes they won’t use them until they become part of the landscape, but having lots of potential nesting materials in the vicinity might encourage them. If you are lucky they may be accepted almost straight away.
Definitely leave water available all day every day, but food is a bit of a choice. Some people leave food out all winter, but others just for a while after the last hog is seen. i.e. I would leave some food out for at least a couple of weeks after the last hog is seen. But you could continue to leave out a small amount of dried food (cat or kitten biscuits) which won’t go off so quickly, so there’s not so much waste. Then if you are watching via a camera and you see a hog appearing you can leave out either some food, or a bit more food the next night.
Hogs are known to emerge during hibernation and sometimes move nests. So leaving nesting material available all winter is really important. They should have sufficient energy for that built in to their fat stores, but might emerge due to disturbance (which may not have been allowed for) and welcome a snack. Also some hogs choose not to hibernate at all, but may not find food from their normal source and so be looking around for some. So for those reasons I keep my cameras going all winter in case there is any activity. The batteries tend not to last as long, but the activity is hugely reduced so it usually works out ok.
Hibernation is always a bit worrying for us hog lovers – not all hogs will survive regardless of whether they weigh enough – it is the most naturally dangerous time of year for them – but it’s such a treat to see our hog friends returning in the Spring.
Good luck. I hope all goes well.