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Harlan Hill stands inside one of Eden Village’s tiny residences designed to transition people out of homelessness.
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
Harlan Hill stands inside one of Eden Village’s tiny residences designed to transition people out of homelessness.

Former city director named CEO of Eden Village

Posted online

Harlan Hill accepted a job as CEO of Eden Village immediately after leaving his post as the city’s Building Development Services director.

Hill stepped into the newly created position for The Gathering Tree nonprofit’s program Feb. 17 as the tiny home development concept for the homeless seeks to grow to a national level. He said his last day at the city was Feb. 14 after giving his two-week notice.

Formerly a six-year staff architect for Ozarks Technical Community College, Hill said he’s responsible for overseeing the development of Eden Village projects as they’re built across the country, as well as day-to-day operations locally.

“It meets my convictions for serving and helping others less fortunate,” Hill said of the position. “They also have a need for an individual with my design and construction experience to help assist and advise these other communities in development.”

Eden Village Chief Operating Officer Nate Schlueter said he and Hill have been working to license the Eden Village model to interested organizations. The local nonprofit also is coaching groups through the fundraising and land rezoning processes, Schlueter said.

So far, officials from 26 cities have inquired about the tiny home developments, including cities in California, Texas, Minnesota and Florida. Schlueter said a project already is underway in Wilmington, North Carolina.

A second local Eden Village is being built at 3155 W. Brower St., near Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass, and Schlueter expects the project to be completed by October. The first, a 31-unit housing project, is fully occupied at 2801 E. Division St.

Hill stepped down as Springfield Building Development Services director after two years in the position. He declined to disclose his current salary but noted that it was a “significant cut” from his $114,000 compensation with the city. Schlueter said Eden Village’s 2020 operating budget is $300,000.

Deputy City Manager Maurice Jones was brought on as interim BDS director as the city conducts a search for Hill’s permanent successor, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Prior to his exit from the city, Hill recently told SBJ that BDS ran into issues in 2018 implementing eCity, a cloud-based software platform for permit application and review process. Challenges in the initial three months delayed projects and permits, and he said only about 20% of contractors currently are utilizing eCity.

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