SELCO Steps Up with $200,000 Grant to SquareOne Villages

Choosing a Financial Partner

SELCO recently awarded $200,000 to SquareOne Villages to help the nonprofit build Rosa Village Co-op, a community of 52 permanently affordable, net-zero energy-efficient tiny homes in Eugene for people in need of housing.

Rendering of Rosa Village Co-opThis donation was made possible thanks to a 3:1 matching grant that SELCO applied for through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines’ Member Impact Fund. Not only is SELCO’s contribution the largest in our history, the combined grant represents the largest private donation to the Rosa Village project this year.

In addition, the grant sparked $50,000 in separate funding that had already been pledged to SquareOne through a matching gift made at the bequest of Eugene resident and community leader Priscilla Gould.

The grant is part of SELCO’s new SELCO Steps Up community giving program, which was launched earlier this year. One of the primary goals of SELCO Steps Up is to expand SELCO’s giving efforts to meet the community’s changing needs, and the grant to SquareOne is a step in the right direction to combat homelessness—a pressing issue across all the regions SELCO serves.

“By providing low-cost housing like Rosa Village, SquareOne confronts the homelessness issue head-on,” said Olivia Sorensen, SELCO’s Senior Community Development Specialist. “SELCO has partnered with SquareOne for years, but never has SquareOne’s work been more important. When Rosa Village is complete, it will offer a critical lifeline for dozens of families in our community.”

‘Extremely affordable’ housing

In 2012, SquareOne Villages began its bold mission of creating self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes for those in need of housing. Starting with non-congregate shelters, the nonprofit’s dream of building permanent, affordable homes gradually took shape over the years. Opportunity Village opened in 2013, followed by Emerald Village Co-op in 2018, Cottage Village Co-op in 2020, C Street Co-op in 2021, and Peace Village Co-op in 2023.

Opportunity Village residents
Opportunity Village residents at their new homes.
SELCO's Olivia Sorensen discusses plans for Rosa Village Co-Op with SquareOne Villages' Amanda Dellinger and Andrew Heben.

The idea for Rosa Village began in 2020, when the nonprofit received a donation of 3.3 acres of land at 2243 Roosevelt Blvd in Eugene. Set to break ground in 2025, Rosa Village will cover 2 acres of the property. The new co-op will contain 40 one-bedroom apartments and 12 two-bedroom townhomes, as well as a 1,600-square-foot common house with shared amenities. The units will be equipped with metal roofs, insulated wall construction, elevated air tightness measures, fully insulated slab construction, heat pump water heaters, and mini-split heating and cooling. Once construction is complete, solar panels will be installed on the roofs. The common house will be spacious enough for all residents to gather for meals, do their laundry or get mail, and store personal belongings like bikes and tools.

“We have seen time and again that the type of housing Rosa Village will provide is far more successful in creating long-term stability than traditional rental housing, and it’s far more attainable than a single-family home,” said Andy Heben, SquareOne’s Deputy Director. “And with Rosa Village’s net-zero energy-ready homes, the costs will be extremely affordable for its residents.”

For more information about the Rosa Village Co-op, visit

“Before (SquareOne), I was at the Mission, and before that I was homeless for about a decade. When you’re homeless, you don’t ever think things are going to work out. I’ve only been here about a month, and it just takes time to even believe it’s not going to be taken at the last second. I still feel a little bit stunned. Probably 35% of my stress just disappeared just having my own stuff. I do kind of walk around in a daze because of how quickly my life changed in every way.”

-Anonymous, new Peace Village Member Owner

When the SELCO Steps Up program was conceptualized, a main goal was to address pressing community needs more broadly. We hope this donation to SquareOne Villages will be a giant step forward in creating a positive, lasting impact in our communities.

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