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Early in 2015, the River Road Community Organization (RRCO) was informed that the City of Eugene was considering the purchase of a 2.7 acre parcel along River Road as a site to build approximately 55 units of affordable housing. As is usually the case, the RRCO Board mobilized to deal with the situation.  But in contrast to responses in other cases, the River Road Board determined that the site was appropriate for this use and formed a committee to determine how the project could best be incorporated into the neighborhood for the benefit of both current and future residents.

At the May 31 City Club meeting, representatives of the city, the neighborhood association, and the developer will describe how they collaborated over the past four years to design an affordable housing project that looks like a win-win-win solution for all concerned.

Terry McDonald is Executive Director at St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County and has served in that capacity for 34 years. He graduated from Churchill High School and earned graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Oregon. Terry is a national expert on social enterprises, ie, nonprofit-operated businesses that earn money to cover costs of their social service work. He has recently spoken on this issue at Harvard and MIT, among other international institutions.

Stephanie Jennings manages the City of Eugene’s staff team for affordable housing and homelessness programs. She has been with the City of Eugene for fourteen years, after previously managing grants for Fannie Mae Foundation.  She earned a BA from Guilford College and graduate degrees from UNC – Chapel Hill.

Cameron Ewing has served on the River Road Community Organization Board of Directors for three years and leads the committee that has worked with the City and St. Vincent de Paul to guide this project. He is a veteran of the Army National Guard and graduated from the University of Oregon Architecture School last year.  He recently began his professional career with Willard C. Dixon Architect.