As we settle in to the new year, we wanted to provide you with an update on what to expect from SquareOne Villages in 2017.
Emerald Village. A big focus this year will be on building Emerald Village. We received land use approvals for the 22-unit affordable tiny home community this past October. Site construction is scheduled to begin in March. Once the infrastructure is set and the foundations are poured, we have 13 different design-build teams ready to erect a tiny house. In addition to that, SquareOne will be organizing skilled volunteers to assist in the construction of 8 more tiny houses using structural insulated panels (SIPs). If you have building experience and would like to help out, please reply to this email and we'll add you to our list to contact when we are ready to begin. There will be a call for more volunteer opportunities later in the year.
The first 18 households have been selected through an application and interview process, and we've begun hosting monthly village meetings to begin building community prior to move-in. We're still accepting applications. A few of the larger designs remain to be filled, so we are especially seeking couples or small families for those.
Cottage Village Coalition. We'll be continuing to work with the Cottage Village Coalition in Cottage Grove, Oregon to develop an affordable community similar to Emerald Village. We've identified a prospective site for the project and are currently conducting site design workshops to establish a design for the site. This partnership was initially funded by an Affordable Housing Initiative grant from Meyer Memorial Trust. We've applied for a second phase of funding that could fund a significant portion of the development, if received.
Village TOOLBOX. In April of last year, we began work on packaging the village model into a user-friendly toolkit, thanks to the above mentioned grant from Meyer Memorial Trust. Since then, we've consulted with over two-dozen groups actively planning a tiny house village. Those conversations, in addition to our experiences with Opportunity, Emerald, and Cottage Village, have provided valuable insight on how to approach the the Village TOOLBOX.
We plan to launch this online resource in the first quarter of this year. It's intended to be a living resource that will be updated and expanded over time, so we'll be adding more content as it's completed over the course of the year.
We're also currently in early conversations about the potential for hosting a summit this Fall to bring together some of the various organizations working towards a common cause.
Grants. We are excited to announce that we've a received a capacity building grant from Meyer Memorial Trust for 2017-2018. The purpose of the grant is to build SquareOne's capacity "to lead, innovate, and disseminate the development of affordable tiny house villages throughout Oregon." This effort will involve us establishing a membership program and workshop curriculum, designed to work in tandem with the Village TOOLBOX. For this year, funding is included to conduct two initial workshops with groups actively planning a tiny house village within Oregon. Please reply to this e-mail if your group is interested in being considered.
Furthermore, we just received word that Foundation Beyond Belief has renewed SquareOne as one of their 2017 Humanist Grant beneficiaries, under the human rights category. This is the second year we have received this grant for $9,800 of unrestricted funding, which helps us sustain Opportunity Village.
So, as you can see, there is a lot ahead of us in 2017! Thanks for your continued interest in our organizations, and we look forward to keeping you apprised with regular updates throughout the year.