Medford, Ore. — The topic of a tiny house community is once again discussed by the Medford City Council. During their noon meeting on Thursday, a number of points were brought up. Proponents of ‘Hope Village’ are ultimately asking for a lease on land from the city, so they can give the homeless population a new lease on life.
“It’s hard, but as time went on it got easier,” Christopher Glenn said.
Glenn has been homeless for three years, and said ‘Hope Village’ is the chance he’s been looking for.
“Seeing the inside of the house, I thought it would be nice to actually live inside one of them.”
In Medford’s noon City Council meeting Thursday, the tiny houses project gained a little traction.
“I think it would be a benefit to the community, and do it on a subsidized basis, or one dollar a year, which is more revenue than we’re currently getting,” Councilor Dick Gordon said.
The concept, modeled from similar camps in Eugene and Portland, would place 12 to 14 tiny houses on a property in Medford at 3rd and Front.
“Most people just think, ‘If I can’t see them, then they’re not there,’ but that’s just not true,” Chad McComas said.
McComas is the Executive Director of Rogue Retreat, the lead organization behind the project. He said they originally planned to buy the land.
“It was the City who came to us, and said we really like what you’re doing, maybe we can partner with you and lease you a piece of property, so they initiated the discussion,” McComas said.
Those discussions over property leases, landlord terms and conditions, and the affect on neighboring businesses are holding up a decision.
“How do we do this? I just don’t see us.. we’re not getting there yet,” Mayor Gary Wheeler said.
McComas is hoping they can get there soon, to give people the stepping stone they need.
“We’re not wanting them to be there that long, we want to give them something better than an 8×10 shed, we want to give them a life,” McComas said.
The Council also talked about what would happen if the project were to fail. Ultimately, the Council did not make a decision on Thursday; they’ll likely finalize plans during their next meeting in July.