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Being Part of the Community to Raise a Village

March 12, 2018

Rendering of the Emerald Village Eugene project

In late 2017, EWEB had the opportunity to work with SquareOne Villages on cost-saving measures for their tiny homes project.  

Emerald Village Eugene is a new, innovative housing project of 22 affordable tiny homes. Each of the tiny homes is designed to meet code requirements for a "permanent dwelling" — sleeping and living areas, a kitchenette and bathroom — and will provide secure, permanent housing to community members with very low incomes. 

Supporting vulnerable members of our community is a priority for EWEB. We offer weatherization programs to help income-eligible customers reduce energy use and lower their utility bills, as well as bill assistance programs.  The tiny home village provided an opportunity to assist with a unique safety net project that will help very low income residents regain stability, benefiting the entire community.

To keep residents' monthly costs between $250 - $350, SquareOne Villages looked to the community—including EWEB— for support. With the need for utility service at each of the homes, we were pleased to offer solutions for both water and electricity to help keep the monthly costs low. 

"We were able to work out a means with EWEB to put the entire project on a single meter for the electricity. This represents a significant savings for which we are very grateful," says Dan Bryant, Executive Director of SquareOne Villages.

EWEB was also able to offer water conservation measures to the homes as another way to keep monthly utility costs down.

Installing water efficient toilets was a tangible method for achieving this goal. Working through EWEB, Emerald Village secured a donation from Niagara Conservation of 23 ultra high efficiency toilets, shower heads and aerators to be installed in each of the tiny homes. "We are thankful to EWEB for initiating this partnership, and to Niagara Conservation for helping improve the quality of our housing for low-income community members here in Eugene," says Emerald Village Project Manager Andrew Heben.

The tagline of the project is, "It takes a community to raise a village." Looking at the long list of contributors to the project, it appears as though that motto is being realized and we are pleased to have played a small part.