Completed Projects

Within the Rules

Cully Grove
Completed in 2012, Cully Grove is an old-fashioned neighborhood built in a new-fashioned way, with shared bike parking and solar panels. On nearly 2 acres in NE Portland, 16 homes and a shared common house provide fun and bountiful gardening for urban homesteaders of all ages.  Rather than dividing this 80,000 square foot parcel into a 16-lot subdivision, we opted for a Planned Development process to locate the homes around the periphery of the site, mostly in 2- and 3-unit buildings. In doing so, we preserved site open space for an entry courtyard anchored by a huge oak tree, 4,400 square foot community garden, and lovely grove of deciduous trees that will become a play area for kids.  Learn more


Woolsey Corner
Completed in late 2010, Woolsey Corner was built on a 75’x100′ piece of property originally platted for 4 skinny homes on separate lots. Located on the edge of New Columbia, the 8 townhomes and flats are arranged within a 3-story building that wraps around a central courtyard and beautiful silver maple tree. Each home is owned as a condominium and made permanently affordable to households at or below 80% of median family income through a partnership with Proud Ground, a local community land trust. Residents share a common unit with guest bedroom and secure bike storage. A curvy deck, cedar shade trellises, and custom artwork made from salvaged musical instruments are sprinkled throughout.  Learn more


Peninsula Park Commons
In the first phase of Peninsula Park Commons (2005), we converted a 7-unit apartment complex on a 135′ x 100′ corner lot into a community of 6 homes, a shared common unit, and garden courtyard. In phase two (2007), we replaced  seven dilapidated garages on the property with three additional homes, a guest suite, secure bike storage room, and new brick-paved courtyard. Located at a transit stop and right across the street from beautiful Peninsula Park, this development features cedar trellises, custom bicycle art, ‘live edge’ interior trim from salvaged maple trees, and a host of green building and bike-friendly design features. Learn more


Sabin Green
Completed in 2006, Sabin Green is a mini co-housing community consists of 4 homes on each corner of a 75′ x 100′ lot. On the south side of the lot we renovated the existing house and converted its detached garage into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). On the north side of the lot, we built a new house and detached ADU. Each unit is owned as a condominium, and all four homes share a circular courtyard. On the north edge of the courtyard, we worked with residents and the Village Building Convergence to construct a shell- shaped tea house using cob, straw-clay, and other natural building materials.  Learn more


Ruth’s Garden Cottages
For most developers, Ruth’s cute little 1-BR, 726 square foot house in the back corner of a 50′ x 100′ lot would have been a tear-down.  But in late July 2008, we purchased the property and built two cute garden cottages to the side of the house, creating a pocket community of tiny homes complete with a large front-yard garden, covered bike storage in the back, and mini-yards for each of the 3 structures.  Legally, the tiny homes are fully permitted 12’x14′ “detached accessory structures,” each with a front porch, bathroom with shower, and loft. The existing house has a small kitchen, living/dining room and basement that all residents can share, along with a small upstairs bedroom.  Learn more


Corvallis Cohousing
Located on a 6-acre parcel and completed in 2007, Coho Ecovillage is a new cohousing community of 34 homes with a large common house where residents share meals on a regular basis and meet to plan, play and party. This mixed income community was developed through a partnership between local Corvallis residents, non-profit Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services (WNHS), and the Housing Development Center (HDC).  It includes 8 homes for low or moderate buyers and one 4-BR unit for residents with developmental disabilities.  Learn more


Oleson Woods
Developed by non-profit sponsor Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) with project management by the Housing Development Center (HDC), Oleson Woods is a 32-unit affordable housing development on a beautiful property with on-site wetlands and mature trees. Completed in 2005, Oleson Woods has proven to be a model for creating a supportive environment wherein both residents and natural systems can thrive.  For residents, Oleson Woods offers stable housing at low rents, services from CPAH and partner agencies, ideal transit access and proximity to over 18,000 jobs. The unit mix includes one, three and four bedroom units renting at 30% to 45% MFI.  Learn more


Cascadia Village
HDC worked with non-profit Affordable Community Environments (ACE) to help them acquire a 5-acre parcel, subdivide it and create a “Village” in Clark County Washington. Cascadia Village Apartments is the second of three multi-family buildings in Cascadia Village and provides units that are affordable to people with incomes ranging from less than 30% to less than 60% of area median income. The project is designed for people with mobility impairments, has units set aside for those with developmental disabilities, and units for people who are living with HIV/AIDS.  Learn more

 

Outside the Rules

Dignity Village
Launched in 2000 by an empowered, organized, and entrepreneurial group of homeless residents, Dignity Village evolved from a mobile tent city to a city-recognized intentional community in NE Portland. Its beginnings were heavily publicized, political and contentious. But through the tireless work of 60+ homeless residents, a small and dedicated group of volunteers, and local government willing to creatively flex building and land use regulations, Dignity Village remains a self-governed community providing safe housing at a fraction of the cost of more traditional forms of affordable housing. Role: Advisory Board member and convenor of site selection committee, 2001 – 2004.


Tiny Homes on Wheels
Food carts have spread like wildfire across Portland. But how about tiny homes on wheels?  Although the tiny house movement is alive and well here, it remains stuck uncomfortably below the radar screen as a not-quite-legal form of affordable housing. Through Orange Splot, we have acquired and completed two cute, safe, and fully habitable homes-on-wheels. We’re keeping our eyes out for a place to launch a tiny house pod community on a lot with an existing home that can serve as a shared common house – and working with local tiny-house residents, builders and advocates to create a legal pathway for this new housing model. Role: Builder, owner, policy advocate


Pedalpalooza Tours
Portlanders have developed all sorts of tiny, beautiful, affordable, and sustainable forms of housing, some legal (ie. accessory dwelling units, detached bedrooms…) and some not. In 2011 and 12, Eli led Tiny Home bike tours as part of Pedalpalooza, a 3+ week celebration of bikey fun. Each tour attracted 100+ riders, many of whom end up getting inspired to launch their own tiny house projects. Looking ahead, we anticipate leading bike tours to identify and inventory Portland’s “Missing Middle” housing types.  Role: Tour organizer and leader/co-leader

 

 


Duck Coop Condo
OK, this one’s just for fun. In summer, 2012, I built this 2-story house in our back yard for our daughter’s 3rd birthday and in celebration of our ducklings’ graduation from inside brooder to outdoor home. Ozora gets the upstairs as a play house with covered deck. The ducks get the downstairs, with adjoining run and pond. In 2015, we moved it across the street to our new Cully Grove home. Role: designer, material-scavenger, builder, and proud papa