Tiny house group pushes for response from city

Ashland, Ore.– A local group is concerned about the City of Ashland’s dedication to low income housing.

“We do not have enough housing and we do not have enough of that wide range of housing,” said Karen Logan, founder of the Tiny House Village Project in Ashland.

It’s a small plot of land located on Clay and Villard Street but for some it could be the security they need to pick themselves back up.

“I’m trying to put an end to how high the real estate is to where we can afford to house our children and ourselves without compromising our safety,” Jeannie Martin, an advocate for a tiny house village.

The Ashland Tiny House Group has been trying to create a one of these villages to help support mothers and children who are homeless.

However, organizers say the City of Ashland hasn’t responded to their offers to purchase the lot.

“We’ve offered to purchase and lease and I have not received a formal answer,” said Logan. “I’ve only heard indirectly that the city want’s to go with just selling the property to Housing Authority.”

The group proposed a project for 12-15 units and a permanent house to help people transition off the streets and back into society. Logan says this is part of the city’s legal duty.

“The city has a responsibility to encourage and provide a variety of housing for people and that would include low income housing,” she said. “I believe it should, if it doesn’t, it should include transitional housing.”

Instead, the city is working with the Housing Authority of Jackson County to develop the land.

The organization currently runs a low-income neighborhood across the street where some residents are hesitant of the tiny house village.

“We have a problem with transient people coming through here at night stealing bikes, breaking into cars,” said resident David Winn. “With the tiny village thing, it’s more transient people coming in.”

Logan says all neighbors’ concerns will be addressed but the first step is finding a place to land.

“We’re still going to continue to advocate for homeless and at risk kids, women and families.”

Ashland Tiny House Group hopes the city might offer them a new available plot of land if they decide to approve the Housing Authority’s request instead.

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