With one complete, Opportunity Village eyes next housing project

EUGENE, Ore. -- In the nine months since it opened, Opportunity Village gave 31 formerly homeless people a safe place to make a transition in their lives.

The project gives residents bungalow style or conestoga hut housing while try to find employment.

Opportunity Village held an open house on Saturday to celebrate the completion of their final structure on North Garfield in Eugene.

Organizers hope to use the success of the project to launch a similar transitional housing location - Emerald Village Eugene. Planners are still looking for a good place to start building the village.

Unlike its predecessor, the new project would charge residents between $150 and $200 a month to stay in one of the 15 units.

"Its intent will be more long-term housing," said Dan Bryant, a spokesman for Opportunity Village. "The individuals who live in that will actually be paying towards the actual units themselves, and they will be building up an asset just the same as any homeowner."

The Emerald Village will have a shared laundry and restroom space, much like the recently completed project.

City officials are optimistic the project will benefit more than the homeless.

"When they are independent and building their own lives and moving up," Mayor Kitty Piercy said. "They are not a cost to our community, they are an asset."