Two Eugene residents given keys to new tiny homes

Emerald Village Eugene gives keys to two new tiny homeowners.

Posted: Dec 23, 2017 11:51 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – Two Eugene residents received keys to their tiny homes on Saturday.

Gibert Hayes and Kentrel Davis now have a small and warm place they can call home.

Their tiny homes were built through a project of SquareOne Villages called Emerald Village Eugene. The $1.7 million project will provide 22 tiny homes to low-income individuals who are in need of housing.

The project started summer 2017 and is expected to be completed by spring of next year.

Hayes and Davis will pay rent ranging from $250 to $350 per month.

The homes are financed by a combination of private donations, the City of Eugene, and contributions from local architects, builders, and various businesses.

John Ekstrom said they are using their children’s inheritance to make a contribution to fund one of the homes.

“We made that as an example to our children,” Ekstrom said. “We’re giving their inheritance for a good cause and hopefully they make some good habits in terms of supporting the community and a worthy project like this.”

Prior to moving into his tiny home, Hayes had been living in a conversion van. He purchased a motor home from a friend and he had been living in it for the past year.

“Most of the time I had no power, “he said.

When Hayes walked into his new tiny home it was completely furnished.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Hayes said. “It’s amazing. It’s beautiful!”

Dan Hill is the architectural coordinator for the project. He designed Hayes home.

Hill said each home averages a budget of $15,000 and the labor for its construction is free.

“It’s been fun to be able to pull people together that love doing this kind of stuff – love giving,” Hill said.

Hill said he’s been designing tiny homes for people in international communities who are also in need of housing.

“A lot of time we take it for granted you know, that housing is just available to everybody,” said Hill.

Hill said tiny homes are more sustainable because they require less financial and material resources to build.

The ownership of the land will stay under SquareOne Villages name and the homes will be given to the occupants, according to Hill.

“I’m looking forward to be involved in the rest of the projects for other people,” Hayes said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

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