By Betty Grant
Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing member and Eugene architect Will Dixon has donated time and his design work to help create Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), a micro-house community for previously homeless Eugene residents. Dixon’s design is turning into one of 22 EVE homes. Each design had to meet state building code for a permanent dwelling – including living and sleeping areas, kitchenette and a bathroom – all in 160-288 square feet.
The lay-out and focus of this community parallels cohousing. There will be common facilities, including a community gathering area, kitchen, laundry, restroom, tool storage and office. Parking is limited to one corner. Residents of EVE will be members of a housing cooperative, having a monetary share in the village– creating a modest asset which can be cashed out, if and when they choose to move out. The monthly fee to live at EVE will be $250-$350 a month (income dependent) which includes the share payment, utilities, maintenance and operating costs. Future plans for a food cart pod and office space may provide income to EVE residents.
Emerald Village construction began late summer 2017. Dixon’s designed house is on the far right
Square One Villages, the parent non-profit behind this affordable housing effort, formed in 2012 to provide management for Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), the city’s first legal “camping site” set-up for 30 homeless residents. The goal of OVE is to give stability to people who are unhoused and help them transition to more permanent housing. Some of those OVE residents have now “stepped up” to EVE, a place they can choose to live permanently, or use as a 2nd stepping stone for more traditional housing. The model is garnering statewide and national attention. A second village is already underway 30 miles south of Eugene in Cottage Grove. To see the EVE site plan and house designs go to https://www.squareonevillages.org/emerald
Will Dixon (right), a founding member of Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing in Eugene, Oregon