Sunday, December 29, 2013

Occupy Madison Build

Betty Ybarra moved into the first tiny house built by Occupy Madison (OM) Build this week.  Previously living in a tent, the 98 square foot structure is built on a trailer and includes a living space, bathroom, and kitchenette with a material cost of around $5,000.  This work by OM Build provided Ybarra with her first experience in home ownership.  But they still face a major hurdle.  Local regulations require that this tiny house, registered as an RV, move every two days.

Photo courtesy of OM Build

Similar to Opportunity Village Eugene, OM Build is a pragmatic, citizen-driven approach to housing the unhoused that has transpired since the Occupy movement of 2011.  While the movement began as an effort to draw attention to large-scale corporate greed at the national level, in Eugene, Madison, and several other cities, the protest camps quickly took on a new, local dimension after providing a safe place to be for the city's homeless population.  The projects overlap in many ways, and we had a chance to meet a few of the organizers and builders when they visited the village here in Eugene this past month.  With two structures completed thus far, their vision is to find land on which they can site a community of these affordable, tiny houses.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Development at Opportunity Village

The village has been open for three months now and we are currently housing 27 people in 22 units.  This citizen-driven initiative has all been done for under $70,000 with no government funding.  That deserves a big thanks to the generosity of our local community here in Eugene, Oregon!

I thought I would provide a little tour of some of the development that has been going on:

The Front Office just inside the gate, which is self-managed
by the villagers.  
A conestoga huts with one of our first residents just before
transitioning to more permanent housing.

A completed 8'x8' bungalow.
The micro-BathHouse under construction, which will
include two toilets, two sinks, a shower, water heater,
and washer and dryer - all in 112 sq. ft.
We built a 30' wide yurt for meetings and events.

...and it has heat!  Some villagers and volunteers enjoying
the warmth from our newly installed pellet stove

We're getting there...