Who We Are:
The Cottage Village Coalition (CVC) is a group of concerned individuals and organizations in the Cottage Grove area who, in collaboration with SquareOne Villages of Eugene, work together to craft a permanent solution to homelessness in our rural community.
We embrace the opportunity to work with diverse people in a spirit of cooperation, including: local residents, individuals who are unhoused, governmental authorities, non-profit agencies, faith communities, foundations, businesses, and others who are trying to make basic housing more available to those who need it.
The Need :
Cottage Grove, Oregon has a high level of poverty and, as a consequence, a high level of economic vulnerability. Formerly a timber town, Cottage Grove never recovered from decreased logging and modernization of the lumber mills in the 1990s and the financial crisis of 2008.
United Way of Lane County reports that 50% of Cottage Grove residents fall into the categories of poverty or “asset limited, income constrained, employed” (ALICE). Within that demographic, half are over the age of 50. “This kind of economic frailty means that many people are in danger of missing house or rent payments and therefore losing their housing” (League of Women Voters of Lane County, 2017).
Public programs aimed at addressing housing affordability are direly insufficient. Lane County’s HUD Section 8 waiting list was opened for just one week in 2015. There was a 5-year wait for 1 bedroom subsidized housing. To compound the situation, it is extremely difficult to find housing and even more so, affordable housing. Currently in the United States, the Urban Institute reports that for every 100 households classified as extremely low-income, only 29 units are available and affordable. The rental vacancy rate in Cottage Grove (population of 9,700) is 1%.
The Plan :
Cottage Village is a project developed by SquareOne Villages in collaboration with the Cottage Village Coalition (CVC). Together, SquareOne and CVC are developing plans to bring a permanent, affordable tiny house community to Cottage Grove. A site has been acquired for the village at 1430 E. Madison Ave.
The property to be developed is 1.2 acres and includes an existing 4-bedroom house and a 1,400 sq. ft. shop building. It is zoned medium density residential (R-2), which allows for the development of up to 13 additional dwelling units.
What will be included in the development? Cottage Village will consist of 13 tiny houses designed to meet the building code’s definition of a “permanent dwelling”—including sleeping and living areas, a kitchenette, and bathroom. An existing shop building will be renovated to include a community gathering area, kitchen, and laundry. The development will also include infrastructure, parking and other requirements necessary under local multi-family land-use standards.
Who might live at Cottage Village? Who might live at Cottage Village? Cottage Village will serve Cottage Grove residents with very low-incomes (under 50% area median income) that are currently unable to access affordable housing. This includes a number of different types of people in our local community, such as veterans, seniors, single parents, and more. These people may be currently couch surfing, living out of a vehicle or tent, or at a high risk of losing their current housing. CVC will conduct an application and interview process that ensures all residents meet our Membership Selection Criteria and accept the Community Agreement.
How will Cottage Village be managed and maintained? Residents will be involved in the governance, operations, and maintenance of the Village to the greatest extent possible. This approach of preserving control over one’s living space instills a pride of ownership, resulting in a deeper interest in keeping the property well-cared for. CVC and SquareOne will provide oversight, support, and training to the Village to ensure a quality standard. Residents’ monthly payments will account for all operating costs, including utility costs and short and long-term maintenance expenses.
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