MADRAS, OR -- The city of Madras is considering whether a tiny home development could provide much-needed low-income and transitional housing. Community Development Director Nick Snead admits he originally thought it couldn’t work in Madras. Then, last month, he attended a presentation in Redmond by SquareOne Villages, which has two tiny home neighborhoods in Eugene. He says members of the law enforcement and faith-based communities joined city officials and homeless advocates to discuss solutions, "Sitting to my left was Redmond Police Chief Tarbet and to my right, Mayor Endicott, and several other people representing veterans and several other affordable housing nonprofits; and, when I heard the story about SquareOne Villages and how successful it’s been in addressing some of the homeless issues in Eugene, I thought, ‘Man! We need to have the same presentation in Madras’." Click HERE to view part of that presentation.
Each of the two Eugene villages has 20 tiny homes. Snead says a Madras plan would need to be scaled down, "Look at the city of Madras, which is 6,300 people; you know, we could have four tiny homes and proportionately have the same kind of impact on our community." And, he says he's encouraged to hear neighbors of the Eugene programs speak highly of how the communities are managed. Snead says it would only work in Madras if it improves livability for everyone, "It’s really important to make sure that it’s not creating problems for the neighbors living in that same area. That, rather, it’s adding value to that neighborhood. So, you’re reducing crime, taking people off the streets and dealing with the difficult issues that we need to deal with in our community."
Snead hasn’t identified a location for such a village, nor a timeline for development because, he says, he wants to first see whether residents support the idea. "I think there’s a sense, here at City Hall, that if the community was behind this city staff would do everything we could to, if needed, change our development regulations and anything else, to make this go forward." He’ll start gauging support at a Thursday meeting where SquareOne Villages shares what it’s doing in Eugene. The presentation is open to the public; it begins at 3 p.m. at Madras City Hall (125 SW E St.).