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
Status: Under Construction
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."
Given that there are a large number of religious institutions with extra land that is developable, we hope that this type of partnersthip provides a replicable model for increasing our stock of permanently affordable housing stock.
While Peace Presbyterian Church played a critical role in making this housing opportunity possible, it is not directly affiliated with Peace Village Co-op.
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 a shared ownership structure that combines a Community Land Trust with a Limited-Equity Co-op.
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 households with incomes as low 30% of the 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 household 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 rather than for profit.
After a dollar is invested once, it’s there forever…
SquareOne's community land trust structure restricts the sale of land, and a limited-equity co-op further protects the long-term affordability of housing through limiting the resale value of membership in the co-op.
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 community land trust (CLT) and limited-equity co-op (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. And in rare cases where the LEC cannot remedy a situation, the CLT provides an additional backstop of support. As a result, this model offers long-term stability to both residents and lenders.
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 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.
Steps to Becoming a Member:
Begin by reviewing the Membership Information Packet to determine if you are interested and eligible for this housing opportunity.
Submit a completed application by Friday September 22 at 4pm. There are three options for filling out your application:
>> Pick up a print application from the brochure box near the front entrance of First United Methodist Church (1376 Olive St.)
Applicants who submit a completed application and meet income criteria will be entered into a lottery.
4. Reference Check:
In the order they are selected in the lottery, applicants will have their references contacted, and a criminal background and credit check will be conducted.
5. Information Session:
Applicants who meet the member selection criteria will be contacted by SquareOne staff, with memberships offered in lottery order. Selected applicants will then be required to attend an Information Session, where applicants can ask any questions they may have.
6. Tour & View Unit:
Each person will have an opportunity to view the unit they are offered.
7. Sign Commitment Agreement & Make Deposit:
Applicants will then have 14 days to review legal documents, sign a commitment agreement, and make a $500 nonrefundable deposit towards the membership purchase.
8. Final Preparation:
Once the housing has been approved for occupancy, SquareOne staff will contact you to schedule your move-in date and sign all relevant documents. The membership fee and first month’s carrying charges must be paid in full prior to move-in.
9. Move in!
Note: We are not yet able to establish a definite move-in date, but we expect initial occupancy to begin in December 2023.