We had a great turnout on 2/22/17 from the community and an informative Q&A on microhousing options in Eugene. People attended from Southeast Neighbors, Far West, River Road, Santa Clara, Jefferson Westside, Friendly, Harlow, Amazon, Southwest Hills, and Downtown. Representatives from the Active Transportation Committee, the Sustainability Commission, and the Neighborhood Leaders Council participated along with builders, housing advocates, those who want to live with a low carbon footprint, and those who want to form new ways of living in community and caring for one another.
Andrew Heben shared his experience with the SquareOne Villages project Eugene Emerald Village.
Emerald Village Eugene (EVE) is a project developed by SquareOne Villages (SOV), a non-profit organization with a mission of creating self-managed communities of low-cost tiny homes for people in need of housing. It builds upon the success of Opportunity Village, a transitional micro-housing community for otherwise homeless individuals and couples. This next iteration of our village model will provide more accessible and sustainable place to transition to.
Each of the 22 homes are designed to meet the building codes definition of a “permanent dwelling”—including sleeping and living areas, a kitchenette, and bathroom—all in 160 – 288 square feet. The individual dwellings will be supported by common facilities that include a community gathering area, kitchen, laundry, restroom, tool storage, and office.
Cooperative Housing Model
Unlike most affordable housing projects, residents of EVE will not simply be renters, but instead members of a housing cooperative with a share in ownership of the village—enabling them to create a modest asset that can be cashed out if and when they choose to leave. As part of this innovative model, SquareOne Villages will hold the property in trust to assure continued affordability to members of the cooperative into the future.
Members will make monthly payments of between $200-300 to cover operating costs. Each household will also accumulate a $1,500 share, paid in increments over the course of 30 months, on which they will earn simple interest. This means the initial carrying charge for each household will be $250-350 per month.
Furthermore, EVE will offer security of tenure to very low-income people, provided they continue to follow the community agreements, and a voice in shaping how their housing is operated and managed through democratic process. By combing the benefits of cooperative housing with safe, decent, and cost-effective tiny houses, EVE will offer an accessible and sustainable housing option unlike any other in the country. – from crowdrise
After the presentation, Alissa Hansen, Principal Planner from the City of Eugene and Kristie Brown, Engineering Permit Tech Supervisor answered questions from the audience on microhousing in Eugene.
There is a great deal of interest and forward momentum in the tiny homes movement here in Eugene. Many see it as a way to address the low-income housing shortage, support sustainability and reduce our need to expand the urban growth boundary. Advocates and those interested in the movement were invited to join The Tiny Houses and Tiny House Villages Meetup Group to continue the discussion.
The meeting was livestreamed by Paul Gordon (thanks Paul!) on Facebook and is available at the links below.