Ashland May See Tiny Homes for Lower Income Citizens

Southern Oregon might see more tiny homes but this time in Ashland. For the last year and a half, Director of the Ashland Tiny Home Group, Karen Logan has been trying to turn a plot of land in on Clay Street in Ashland into a fenced place for 12 to 15 lower income women and their families to live for six months to two years.

Posted: Jan. 28, 2018 3:56 PM
Updated: Jan. 30, 2018 5:43 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. --Southern Oregon might see more tiny homes but this time in Ashland. For the last year and a half, Director of the Ashland Tiny Home Group, Karen Logan has been trying to turn a plot of land in on Clay Street in Ashland into a fenced place for 12 to 15 lower income women and their families to live for six months to two years.

"Ideally we would have a villager that can afford about $400 in rent. They would pay a $100 village fee and then $300 would go into a savings account so they could accumulate finances to be able to transition out of the village," said Logan.

Unlike Hope Village in Medford, Logan hopes to have electricity in the units thanks to solar panels. That's if the group gets the official green light from the city and if it gets a few grants.

"We really think that it's important to take care of kids that are on the street who of no fault of their own are homeless and that is extreme responsible for us all to take care of and it's really now," Logan said.

A lot of people near homelessness or experiencing homelessness rely on the Ashland community resource center and that organization supports these tiny homes. The Executive Director Leigh Madsen said there are around 200 people living in their cars or on the streets every night in Ashland. Although he said families are harder to count, Madsen believes Logan’s tiny house dream can help the homeless community.

"14 people off the street will mean 14 people who can begin to dream. 14 people who can begin to access who they want to be. 14 people who are healthier, better, so taking 14 people off the street is huge. She and I both believe that everybody deserves a safe and comfortable place to sleep every night," said Madsen.

Right now, Logan said the City of Ashland has been supportive of the tiny homes project but neighbors in the low-income housing complex across the street have some concerns. One neighbor said the complex is a tight-knit, safe community but six bikes have been stolen since Christmas. She's worried the tiny house village could bring more harm to the community if it’s not monitored. The neighbor did not feel comfortable disclosing her name.

"I'm just concerned about the background checks of the tiny home here. How thorough they do it? I know the women and children would live here for 6 months to 2 years. That sounds like a lot of different types of people moving in and out at all times."

Madsen said Logan’s tiny house project is just one way Ashland can bring more low-income affordable housing to the city.

"Karen's place is for someone at the very economic bottom but we have to fill those steps. We have to be conscientious about it and we have to be intentional about it because the economy is just going to let us build a whole bunch of mansions. We have to decide how we do these other things and fill out the bottom. Let's think about that together," said Madsen.

If the Ashland Tiny Homes Project gets the green light from the City of Ashland, the non-profit hopes to move people in by the end of 2018.

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ASHLAND, Ore. -- Right now every school the region has roughly two children per class without housing, there is no transitional or temporary housing for low income children in Ashland. There are 20,000 children in Oregon who are known to be homeless. That's according to the Ashland Tiny House Group.

The Ashland Tiny House Group, through benefactor Lloyd Matthew Haines, will be offering to buy a parcel of land from the City of Ashland in order to create a community center and a transitional and unique Tiny House Village.

Once the City of Ashland approves the sale, the Ashland Tiny House Village Project will begin. We will offer:

• A community center
• 12 to 15 tiny houses where families and individuals can stay for 6 to 24 months
• A fenced and gated village with an on-site laundry, shared kitchen, and bathrooms
• Individual houses will ideally have solar panels for electricity
• Villagers will contribute to the community in active need and skill-based roles

Children who grow up in intergenerational poverty and homelessness are more likely to have illnesses, education struggles such as dropping out of school, and poor decision-making through-out their lifetimes. Research, according to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, has shown that trauma and extreme stress in childhood can lead to detrimental changes in brain structure and function later in life.

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