Design & management strategies for micro-housing units in transitional villages for the homeless: An exploration of prototypes at Opportunity Village Eugene

Kristen E. Gabriele
Master's Thesis | Spring 2014

The transitional village is a unique form of transitional housing for the homeless because it offers residents an opportunity for ownership over private micro-housing units, an aspect that is a dignifying amenity for many otherwise house-less individuals. Selecting a transitional village project in Eugene, Oregon, this study highlighted two micro-housing prototypes from which to learn successes and shortcomings related to prototype design and application – a necessary evaluation as transitional villages become a more widely-accepted form of transitional housing. The study included a series of in-depth, qualitative interviews with prototype designers, village organizers, and village residents, followed by a qualitative typological analysis that yielded a collection of themes related to the prototype designs and their functionality within the village. From the themes, design and management suggestions were generated for the two prototypes studied, as well as for future micro-housing prototypes in transitional village settings. These suggestions were a reflection of micro-housing needs and preferences as chronicled by participants, revealing an emphasis on thermal comfort, personalization, dimensions for human comfort, storage as a necessity, and the importance of privacy.

Thesis Committee: Korydon Smith & Sue Weidemann