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Epicenter recently hosted their first ever housing open house at their headquarters in Green River. Over the past 10 years Epicenter developed a single family housing prototype (The Frontier House), made over 50 home repairs through their award winning critical home repair program (Fix It First), assessed the entire housing stock of Green River, and co-created an award winning housing plan with the City. The recent open house marks the next phase of Epicenter’s Housing Program: a development to be co-designed and created alongside the community of Green River.
The open house was simultaneously an information session and a community-driven design charrette. Epicenter shared a timeline of housing work since 2009, a new mission statement and long-term goals, and a recent housing assessment update. The design portion included asking residents about their current housing situation (ie. “What do you love about your current house?”) and asking them to help Epicenter begin designing new housing for Green River residents (ie. “What housing typology would you prefer: duplex, row house, townhome, or apartment?”).
Epicenter staff mingled with attendees throughout the event and had great conversations on the possibilities of mixed-use development (and what that looks like in a rural setting), their favorite houses in town (and why), and much more. There were even activities for the kids who attended, and these exercises were not just ways to keep kids entertained; the kids drew their dream homes (no rules!) and staff members asked the kids about what they drew and why. Free food, games, and music were also critical to the event’s success. Twenty-nine residents were in attendance throughout the event, including town leaders Mayor Travis Bacon, City Council members Kim Andrus and Kathy Ryan, and City Manager Conae Black.
In the days after the open house, Epicenter’s Community Coordinator Annalee Howland took the open house on the road for those who were unable to attend, mostly due to work obligations. She visited local businesses, focusing mostly on back-of-house workers, to go over the open house items and questions. Twenty-three local residents, with a focus on those currently living in mobile homes, were also surveyed after the event asking the same questions.
The next step for Epicenter includes assessing the data, conversations, and information graciously provided by local residents to form an action plan for creating new affordable homes in Green River. The hope is to create a product that can be replicated throughout the rural West. Epicenter is also forming a local housing advisory committee to dive deep into co-designing housing with Epicenter.
To learn more about Epicenter and the work they do in Green River visit http://ruralandproud.org/.
180 S Broadway / PO Box 444 Green River, UT 84525 (435) 564-3330 firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 - 2019 UHC Members
AAA Fair Credit Foundation
American Express Center for Community Development
Bear River Association of Governments
Beaver Housing Authority
Boston Capital Corporation
Canyon School District
Cedar City Housing Authority
Circles Salt Lake
Columbus Community Center
Community Action Services & Food Bank
Community Development Finance Alliance
Community Housing Services
Crossroads Urban Center
Davis Community Housing
Eide Bailly, LLP
ej architecture pllc.
First Step House
FJ & Associates
Habitat for Humanity Southwest Utah
Housing Authority of Salt Lake City
Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake
Mountainlands Community Housing Assoc.
National Equity Fund
Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corp
NeighborWorks Salt Lake
Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund
Park City Municipal Corp
Provo City Housing Authority
Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc
Rocky Mountain CRC
Roosevelt City Housing Authority
Salt Lake City RDA
Salt Lake County
Susan Haight Pinegar
Tooele County Housing Authority
Uintah Basin AOG
Utah Chapter of NAHRO
Utah Community Action
Utah Housing Alliance
Utah Housing Corporation
Utah Independent Living Center
Utah League of Cities & Towns
Utah Paiute Tribal HA
Volunteers of America, Utah
West Valley City
Wishcamper Development Partners