Peace Village Co-op
Scaling up the village model through the adaptive re-use of a large church property to create the most accessible pathway to homeownership in Lane County.
Location: 3060 River Rd, Eugene, Oregon
Type: Limited Equity Co-op
Size: 70 units on 3.6 acres
Permanently Affordable for: 60% area median income or under
In January 2022, SquareOne Villages officially purchased 3.6 acres of land and roughly 9,000 sq. ft. of existing buildings from Peace Presbyterian Church at 3060 River Rd. in Eugene.
Pastor Glenn Edwards explains, “Peace Presbyterian Church is a relatively small congregation and yet we are committed to making a big impact in our neighborhood and community. We are excited to be working with SquareOne to create this housing."
Read more about the use of church land for affordable housing >>
On the land, SquareOne is building 70 new units of resident-owned housing, permanently affordable to households under 60% area median income.
The project is founded on an innovative ownership structure that combines a Community Land Trust (CLT) with a Limited-Equity Co-op (LEC).
SquareOne will retain ownership of the underlying land, with the intent of preserving long-term affordability, and the residents will collectively own the housing on the land as member-owners of Peace Village Co-op.
The goal of this shared-equity ownership structure is to create the most accessible pathway to homeownership in Lane County—reaching people with incomes as low 30% area median income—while also preserving the long-term affordability of the housing.
Enabling owner-occupied housing for very low-income households…
This structure is far more accessible than single-family homeownership because it doesn’t require each households to qualify for a mortgage.
Instead, the co-op holds a single mortgage on the property, and each member-owner makes a monthly payment to the co-op to cover all housing costs. In other words, it allows people with limited incomes to pool their resources to operate quality housing at cost.
After a dollar is invested once, it’s there forever…
SquareOne's CLT structure restricts the sale of land, and an LEC further protects the long-term affordability of housing through lmiting the resale value of membership.
This provides greater stablility to residents, and also means that each dollar invested in the housing by lenders, government, foundations, or donors will go further, providing affodable housing for future generations to come.
A multi-layered ownership structure ensures a secure investment…
Studies have shown that CLT and LEC owned housing has lower default rates when compared to market housing.
If an individual household misses a payment, the LEC has an interest in remedying the situation. In rare cases where the LEC cannot remedy the situation, the CLT provides an additional backstop that will step in as necessary.
Peace Village includes five unique floor plans to support a variety of small households. Many make cost-effective use of space with optional sleeping lofts in addition to ground-level bedrooms that support accessible living.
The compact homes are extremely energy-efficient, and are designed to use around 50% of the amount of energy as a similar sized home built to minimum code standards. Sustainability measures include highly insulated 2×8 wall construction, elevated airtightness measures, fully insulated slab construction, and high-efficiency heat pump space heating and water heating.
Existing buildings on the site will provide common amenities that extend the space of each individual home. This includes a community kitchen and dining area, meeting space large enough to accommodate all of the residents, laundry facilities, storage space for bicycles, shared tools and resources, and other flexible use spaces.
All homes also feature a functional front porch or balcony. Vehicle parking is consolidated to the perimeter of the site, and the homes are instead clustered around generous open spaces to provide residents with a connection to the landscape and their neighbors. A fire lane and service road provides limited vehicular access into the center of the site.