Habitat & Hope Village - Micro Estates of Salem, Oregon

What is Habitat & Hope Village?

Habitat & Hope Village (HHV) is a proposed transitional micro-housing community that will be located in Salem, Oregon. When completed, the village will have up to 20 micro-cabins, each 64 square feet in size, supported by common cooking, gathering, restroom, and laundry facilities. The village will be rule and structured program based, agreed to by its participants with oversight and support provided from non-profit groups, community volunteers, local governmental agencies, and faith based organizations. 

How did it get started?

A group of concerned citizens saw a need and partnered together to develop a plan to help homeless people in the community transition into permanent housing. We are willing to work with the entire Salem and surrounding communities to better the the lives of our homeless neighbors.

What about Location, Permitting and Zoning?

HHV hopes to be permitted as a “Non-Profit Shelter” in the Public Service Zone, or “Conditional Use” in the Mixed Use-II Zone for a potential building site. Locating and acquiring acceptable property is one for the more difficult hurdles in the entire development process. The property could be leased or purchased.

How will this Village help the local community and businesses?

It helps by reducing the number of homeless people on the streets in the Salem area, eliminates the need for “street shopping carts" for storing personal belongings, diminishes the number of people sleeping in business doorways, and helps to clean up litter and sanitation problems in the downtown business district.

How will the micro-housing be built

Rather than following a traditional development process, HHV is partnering with

residents, volunteers, and skilled builders who will work together to develop the

village incrementally. This will allow the village to grow as funds and donations

are received.

Each structure will be 64 square feet (8’x8’), and utilize standard dimensions of

lumber and plywood, which reduces waste, simplifies the construction, and makes

donation of materials easier. Houses will be duplexes in style, and can be built on

or off site. Each unit will be fully insulated and heated.

Housing structures will adhere to the “Oregon Transitional Building Codes”, and be classified as “sleeping units”, rather than “dwelling units”. As a result, the cabins meet code requirements for structural strength, fire safety, means of egress, and ventilation, but are granted flexibility around foundation, utility, and insulation requirements, which helps keep costs to a minimum. Each “sleeping unit” can be built for about $3,500 in material costs with construction labor provided by community volunteers.

What is the criteria and process for becoming a villager?

In order to be admitted to the village, all applicants must be (1) currently unhoused, (2) be willing to live according to the community agreement, (3) be willing and able to participate in the day to day life and governance of the village, (4) must be 18 years of age or older.

A “Coordinated Entry System” will be used by Salem’s ARCHES Project, an organization within the wards of

Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, that provides referrals and services to the homeless, or those at risk of becoming homeless. A “SpDat" entry score of between 0-6 matches potential villagers that will live in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by Habitat & Hope Village. Villagers must agree to be actively engaged in working towards transitioning into permanent housing.

What does it mean to be rule based governed and managed?

Rule based governance is a core value of HHV and the success of the village rests on the participation of those who live there. Villagers are expected to complete at least 10 volunteer hours a month to the community and attend a weekly Village Council Meeting. During these meetings, clients and staff will discuss issues of common interest and recommend policies and procedures for operating and managing the village. Ongoing oversight and support will be coordinated by non-profit groups, as well as community volunteers and faith based organizations. Case Managers will be providing professional support services to each Villager.

We have done our Homework!

Habitat & Hope has created a manual for homelessness resources in Oregon and Washington. Thirty two people representing twenty two different programs from Eugene, Salem, Carlton, Clackamas, Portland, and Olympia Washington were interviewed.

The programs included both direct service and those providing supporting services. Interviews explored all aspects of the programs, including planning and design, facility design, program operation, client identification & selection, case management, administrative operations, and finance.

Habitat & Hope has used this information to develop ‘best practices’ for program management, operations, facilities design and ongoing property maintenance.

Duplex Cabins

What are Habitat & Hope’s greatest needs and how can I contribute?

The success of HHV depends on ongoing support from the surrounding community. To help out financially, please consider becoming a Habitat & Hope Sustainer with a monthly donation of $$$, or gift cards from local building supply stores. Sponsorship of a “Housing Unit” or “Villager” is also possible.

If you have specific ideas for how you could contribute your time and skills, need additional information, or how to assist the Village financially, please contact us:

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem

5090 Center Street NE

Salem, Oregon 97317

Website: https://uusalem.org

Habitat & Hope Village

Micro Estates of Salem, Oregon

5090 Center Street NE

Salem, Oregon 97317

website: habitatandhopevillage.org


Habitat & Hope Village is an Affiliated Ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, Oregon

People who are homeless are not a homogenous population. Individuals and families who wind up homeless may not share much in common with each other, aside from the fact that they are extremely vulnerable, lack adequate housing, income, and access to necessary support networks to ensure they stay housed. The causes of homelessness may have many reasons, including support system failures and individual circumstances.

Homelessness is usually the result of the cumulative impact of a number of factors, rather than a single cause.

The result is living on the streets or in “Homeless Camps”. Each time a “Homeless Camp” is uprooted, there is a loss of continuity of care and services to the homeless individuals. Considerable efforts that our community service providers have put into the problem is lost. Habitat & Hope believes transitional housing should be an integral part to housing the homeless. Help us build a safe and secure transitional village so our homeless neighbors can regain their independence and contribute back to the community. - - Housing First - -