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The housing project is now only $300,000 away from its fundraising goal of $2.4 million.
Wes Hamilton
The housing project is now only $300,000 away from its fundraising goal of $2.4 million.

Eden Village development awarded $750,000 grant

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Tiny homes development Eden Village received the 2017 Federal Home Loan Bank Des Moines Competitive Affordable Housing Grant for $750,000. The grant was sponsored and distributed by Central Bank of the Ozarks.

David Brown, co-founder of The Gathering Tree, the umbrella organization of Eden Village, said the grant is believed to be the largest FHLB Affordable Housing Grant ever received in the Springfield area. The FHLB Des Moines website lists Habitat for Humanity's 2015 Creating Healthy Homes project as the last area initiative to receive funding from the cooperative. It was awarded $492,570.

Eden Village officials have now raised $2.1 million of the $2.4 million needed for completion.

"I think that will inspire people to help us finish out," Brown told Springfield Business Journal.

The grant money, Brown said, will go toward putting in more houses at the 4.5-acre, 30-unit housing project designed to help the homeless at 2801 E. Division St. It currently has only three, donated by the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors, Coldwell Banker Vanguard and Central Bank of the Ozarks. Each costs about $30,000.

Brown additionally estimated that the first resident will be placed in the village by mid-summer. The Gathering Tree will begin taking applications for residency after the first of the year.

"I think we'll have it completely full by the end of the year," Brown said. "Probably before then."

Construction for Eden Village's $600,000 community center toward the front of the development broke ground approximately two weeks ago. It's moved quickly, Brown said; workers are expected to pour the concrete flooring soon.

"It's really the key to the whole project," he said, noting the center will be used for counseling services, as well as social activities and life-skills training. "It's more than a house - it's the support of a community that will make this work."

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