Emerald Village

Updated: March 20, 2015

The Need
The Eugene-Springfield area suffers from a severe lack of low-income housing options. Between 2000 and 2008, monthly median rent for the area increased by 25% from $610 to $760 per month. Unfortunately, income levels have failed to keep pace with rising rents. Over 50% of renter households have a “housing cost burden,” which means they pay more than 30% of their monthly income on housing (including utilities), and 31% have a “severe cost burden” meaning they are paying more than 50% of gross income toward housing. 

Public housing programs aimed at addressing this affordability crisis continue to prove insufficient. The waiting list for Section 8 housing has been closed for most of the last two years in Lane County. The Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County is opening that list for just one week, February 27 - March 6, 2015, during which applicants can apply to be placed in a lottery for a possible 400 to 600 vouchers.  When this process was last used in 2013, approximately 2,400 applications were received.                 

The Mission
The mission of Emerald Village is to expand affordable housing options for low-income individuals and families through the creation of low-cost tiny houses within a stable community setting in which residents can build equity.

Design Program

15 Tiny Houses (128-250 sq. ft.) complete with sleeping and living area, kitchen, and bathroom

Community Gathering Facility with Outdoor Barbeque Area

Laundry Facility, Food Pantry, and Tool Storage

Parking Area consolidated near Community Gathering Facility

Walking Paths connecting pedestrians to tiny houses

Conceptual Drawing

Shared Equity Homeownership Structure

Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, purchases property and the value of the property is held in trust.

OVE implements the tiny house development using foundation grants and private donations.

OVE enters into a Ground Lease with a cooperative, Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), and loans the physical assets to the cooperative.

Residents will become members of EVE, and will make monthly payments towards operating costs and a share in ownership of the cooperative.

Membership will grant that resident the exclusive right to dwell in one of the housing units, and shared rights to common facilities and grounds, under a defined set of community agreements.

Members of EVE will collectively manage the property, dwelling units, and common facilities.

Through the Ground Lease, OVE will provide ongoing oversight, guidance and training, and will maintain the right to enforce member compliance as necessary.

If a member decides to move from EVE, then OVE shall repurchase their share based on an agreed-upon formula.

If a member defaults on the EVE Occupancy Agreement, membership may be revoked, in which case OVE shall repurchase the evicted party’s shares based on an agreed-upon formula.

Membership Selection Criteria
Emerald Village does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law, in any of its activities or operations.
Applicants will be evaluated on the following:
1. A verifiable income that meets the financial obligations of living in the village. Preference will be given to those who earn low-incomes (We have a goal of 10 units at 20%-50% area median income and 5 units at 50-80% area median income).

2. Willingness to undergo a criminal background check and interview process (Anyone with a criminal history of violent or aggravated sexual assault may require additional screening).

3. Ability to live in accordance with the community agreements, including participation in the day-to-day life and governance of the Village in a cooperative manner (Positive references required).

4. Successful participation in a transition program (Opportunity Village, ShelterCare, SVDP, etc.).

Membership Selection Process
The following is a step-by-step list for becoming a member of Emerald Village up to the point of moving in.
1. Visit Emerald Village and pick up an information packet and have each adult in your household fill out an application. Applications are only accepted when there is an opening.
2. Once your references are all checked, you interview with the Membership Committee.
3. If selected, pay first month’s carrying charge payment and get the key.**
4. A “Village Guide” will be appointed to provide you with an orientation to the policies and procedures of Emerald Village.
** Initial residents will first complete 50 hours of sweat equity during the construction phase.

Monthly Fee
Each household will be responsible for a monthly payment of ______________ due on the 1st day of each month. (A “grace period” is available through the 7th day of the month).

The monthly payments account for the following: (a) operating expense charge, (b) building reserve fund, and (c) member equity

There will be an annual review of the monthly payment with possible adjustment. 

Membership Review & Fee
New residents will undergo a 90-day probationary period before becoming an official member. Membership review will be based on objective criteria, including: (a) making monthly payments, (b) attendance at meetings, (c) completion of energy hours, and (d) compliance with the community agreements.

Successful completion of these criteria will constitute payment of the Membership Fee.

Community Agreement

The mission of Emerald Village Eugene (EVE) is to expand affordable housing options for low-income individuals and families through low-cost tiny houses within a stable community setting in which residents can build equity. Costs are kept low through an emphasis on self-management, small-scale development, and sharing resources.

EVE is resident-controlled housing where each member holds a share in ownership of the Village. I understand that this is different from typical rental housing, and that living at EVE comes with additional obligations beyond paying the monthly fee. Therefore, I agree to:
·       Attendance at monthly Village Meetings to discuss and vote on matters of common interest.
·       At least 10 energy hours per month towards the Village and surrounding neighborhood. This includes signing up for designated roles for maintaining common areas, leading community improvement projects, or helping plan activities and other jobs that need to be shared by community members.
Each member is expected to join one of the primary committees, and assist that committee in doing the work necessary to maintain the Village as a safe, presentable, and pleasant place to live.
Membership Committee: applications and intake, community participation review, dispute review
House & Grounds Committee: maintenance and improvements of physical assets 
Management Committee: organizational management, budgeting, finance

Furthermore, as a member of EVE, I agree to the following:
1.     I will not disrespect others based on ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, lifestyle choices, or economic status.

2.     I agree to participate in the day-to-day life and governance of the Village in a cooperative manner.

3.     I will not carry a weapon or act violently toward others or myself.

4.     I will not to use illegal drugs while residing in the Village, and will not consume alcohol or marijuana in common areas unless exceptions are made.

5.     I will respect non-smoking zones.

6.     I will honor overnight guest polices.

7.     I will honor quiet hours and restrictions on amplified noise.

8.     I will honor all pet policies, and understand that only a limited number of pets will be allowed.

9.     I want to live in a clean, litter-free, comfortable space where I can bring friends, family and other guests. I will keep the area in and around where I live clean and orderly, and not store any personal items outside of my building footprint or allocated storage space.

10.  I understand that the space outside my dwelling will be a shared resource. I will help keep the community areas clean and will pick up after myself, and my pet if I have one.