HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Hub City Village: Completion in sight

Written June 11th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Some of the Hub City Village houses as they look from the back of the Budget Inn motel.

Hub City Village isn’t finished yet, but it is getting close.

A bike ride Sunday evening took me past the complex of 27 “tiny” houses being built at 241 Waverly Drive S.E. in Albany. To gain a different perspective, I went up the stairs to the second floor of the Budget Inn motel on Pacific Boulevard.

The motel backs up to the east side of the Hub City compound, and from the second floor landing you can get a view of one row of the small houses.

The $4.7 million project, funded by donations and government grants, is the work of the nonprofit Creating Housing Coalition, of Albany. It is intended to provide stable housing in a community setting for people who otherwise might become homeless.

The coalition held a Zoom meeting Tuesday night, and I was invited.

Stacey Bartholomew, president of the organization, conducted a virtual tour of the site. The place still looks like the construction site it is, with lots of work remaining inside the buildings and on the grounds.

Among other things, concrete walks to each of the front doors have to be poured. Landscaping is waiting to be installed.

Prospective residents have been notified that their applications were approved, I understood someone at the Zoom meeting to say.

The organization has set a date for a grand opening and open house. It will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.  Bartholomew said she hoped at least some of the residents would be moved in by then. (hh)

Hub City Village from the outside as it looked last Sunday evening.





30 responses to “Hub City Village: Completion in sight”

  1. Coffee says:

    Thanks, Hasso. This is a much-needed development. This country, without projects like this, no longer works for the “little” guy…meaning the non-rich people. We oldsters can hardly tell that FDR ever lived…except for Social Security and Timberline Lodge and other buildings FDR’s CCC built. And, the Repubs are trying to do away with Social Security and have been for years.

    • ML long says:

      The republicans are not trying to get rid of social security, try saying Democrats

    • Barb says:

      Repubs, as you dubed them, are NOT trying to do away with Social Security.
      They have actually been trying to curtail dems “borrowing “ more of our funds.

  2. Jim Thomas says:

    Just curious, generally speaking, who are the prospective tenants, what are the qualification, tenant contribution and expectations?

    • Anonymous says:

      Most if not all of those questions are answered on their website creatinghousing.org… I have been accepted into those housing units with my two children out of an abusive relationship and homeless I work but i can’t afford the pricing of regular apartments

      • Abe Cee says:

        Congratulations! I hope it’s a good stepping stone to something positive for your family.

  3. Al Nyman says:

    There is a sign on Century Drive at the modular sales office offering a home for $60,000. Maybe you should start a development for the city or state or whomever built this boondoggle and make some money Hasso.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    I’m still traumatized by the 140+ trees that were murdered on this 1.4 acre tract of land.

    But I assume they were sacrificed for a progressive cause – advancing the human condition through social reform by building tiny houses with some taxpayer money for people who might become homeless.

    A simple trade-off, I guess.

  5. Carla A Mundt says:

    I was on a group tour with Stacey on Monday. This is not a freebie place to stay. Individuals had to apply and a board decided who would be accepted. It is an amazing project and so many places have volunteered to help. Be sure to attend the open house in July. One cannot help but be impressed.
    One

  6. CHEZZ says:

    I am so pleased to hear of the progress Creating Housing Coalition has made! The prospective tenants filled out an application and were personally interviewed by the Board regarding their need and understanding of the process in living there. The Coalition policies and housing has been somewhat modeled by the several Housing developments like this in Eugene. Check out their website – lots of info there on how this will work. YAY Hub City!!

  7. Tracy Foote says:

    I hope to see this works out. I would hate to see all the efforts and funding go To waste because it wasn’t taken care of or due to poor management. Best of luck.

  8. Hansen, Dennis says:

    Each of the 27 houses averages $170,000. At 250 sq ft average, the cost is $700 per sq ft. Most homes in the area are going for $250 per sq ft.

    • Abe Cee says:

      That’s not an accurate assumption. The project cost isn’t entirely encapsulated in the 27 houses at $170k each. The project cost includes the common areas, landscaping, etc.

    • Ben says:

      Thank you, I was considering doing that math again. For the benefit of the doubter, let’s suggest the land development cost was $1M and the community center was $1M, that gives us a nice round number of $2.7M for the construction of 27 “Tiny Homes” or $100K each. During the planning phases the group toured manufactured housing factories considering using less expensive dwellings. Based on my experience in the manufactured housing industry they could have saved 40% on the building costs and deployed 27 units in half the time. They wouldn’t have the loft space however, I would like to see how that space is used. Have not been in these units.

      • DM says:

        Too bad you didn’t volunteer your time, like so many others did. Armchair quarterbacking at it’s fines *eyeroll*

    • Mac says:

      Google “economy of scale”. Ever wonder why nobody builds small homes anymore?

  9. chris j says:

    Grant money comes from the government – often federal, sometimes state, and occasionally local, private businesses and corporations and foundations, which distribute many millions of dollars per year to community groups and organizations. Money donated is taken off their taxes so it is tax money that is not distributed to the government and non profits use donated and earned money for income that they do not pay taxes on. All funding directly or indirectly would be tax money that is just funneled directly to charities.

  10. Jody Wallace says:

    For those of you that aren’t fans of the project I’ll just say this. If you think you can do better than let’s see it. How about this January we get 10 teams to build their ideas of better housing and see what everyone comes up with. I understand being grumpy about “tax” money but honestly it’s going to be used for something so might as well be this project that I am extremely thankful for. And if you are having problems with seeing that by cutting down trees to help house 30-40 people in need then I truly feel sorry for you. But also happy that you have never been in need of housing. Maybe if you had you would feel differently. We will be helping to make up for it by having a garden area for each of us and other things like solar power. And fruit trees were getting planted this week! I’m so excited to start living there and to meet all the neighbors!

  11. dave pulver says:

    27 tiny houses. my question is how this will effect albanys homeless population. will we see less tents in tent city? shorter lines at church dinners? empty beds at helping hands? what will we expect to see from this at the street level?

    • Laureth Verlassen says:

      Not if the local real estate developers, owners & property managers continue what can only be described as gouging & perhaps some AI-assisted App which is purposefully & artificially driving up rents.

      There’s an investigation looking into this in multiple states & since the software being used is available nationwide, I imagine it’s right here as well.

      They’re kicking long term tenants out too, so they can then list, charging new tenants more than they would get with rent increases limited annually by Oregon law..

  12. CHEZZ says:

    Thank you, Jody for speaking up and out. My personal one liner several years ago was
    ‘am I buying the spaghetti or the sauce. I am blessed by having the ability to purchase both. Those that have never been in food or housing insecurity do not get it.

  13. Don says:

    I think it’s great that these are available for those who need it. Rent is out of control, you basically need to make between 47,000-52,000 a year to qualify for a one bedroom. With the way Helping Hands has turned into such a s&$#show in the past 2years cutting off all resources to people that don’t reside there, having no programs in place for people to learn any type of life skills but still soliciting donations like they are operating 3-4 years ago with great programs meals for anyone hungry. access to basic human needs like showers for example.. Plans to expand and add 30 beds then rent out that space to ideal solutions… Albany needs a place for people with fewer options

  14. chris j says:

    Don thanks for the info. Wondered why the heck they have been making driving such a problem there. That area cannot handle even the shelter as it is let alone trying to stuff all the homeless in one spot. They really put a lot of effort in doing unhelpful projects. I hope they hire their own security personal rather than having the police on speed dial. Guess all the businesses in the area have to deal with all the damage that the shelter causes.

  15. Bill says:

    Thank you Hasso for your support. For all of the detractors, I would suggest that you invite a homeless person to stay in a spare room. You could charge rent, and do the background checks to make sure the person is reliable.
    That would certainly help to reduce the number of homeless. If you want to make a contribution, you can go to the creating housing website. All contributions are appreciated. If you are concerned about the tax consequences, you don’t need to claim the deduction on your taxes.

  16. chris j says:

    People miss the point on the homeless issue. They do need help but living in areas where it puts all of the burden on the local the economy and gives them access to continue bad behavior that keeps them homeless and hurts Albany as a whole. The shelter has been there 20+ years. Dumping money into something that never has worked and making a bigger hole for people to get out of is not helping them. You can make all the drug treatment facilities you want to but soon as they walk out the door there are more bad opportunities than good. No affordable housing for people with limited work experience and jobs that they can do plus drugs easier to get than McDonalds.

 

 
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