In 2006, Eli Spevak founded a development and general contracting company, Orange Splot LLC, to playfully pioneer new models of community-oriented, affordable, green housing in Portland, OR. Orange Splot communities feature clusters of small homes nestled within existing neighborhoods, original local artwork, and shared interior and exterior common spaces. Before striking out on his own, Spevak had worked for over a decade in the non-profit sector managing the finance and construction of over 250 units of affordable housing.
Orange Splot communities respond to growing demand for smaller homes arranged around common spaces, making it easy (and fun) to share resources. Completed projects feature a blend of accessory dwelling units, renovated single family homes, detached bedrooms, refurbished apartments, and new multi-family construction. Most recently, Orange Splot co-developed and built Cully Grove, an intergenerational 16-home pocket community on 2 acres with a farm-in-the-city theme. Before that, Spevak partnered with Proud Ground, a community land trust, to create a permanently affordable community adjacent to an elementary school. On the side, Spevak engages in policy and advocacy work to remove regulatory & financing barriers to space-efficient housing. He also spreads the word about accessory dwelling units through bike tours of tiny homes and www.accessorydwellings.org.
During his fellowship year, Spevak hopes to create a resource guide of model codes and best practices that jurisdictions could use to spur community-oriented forms of in-fill development with smaller ecological footprints.
Watch the video of Spevak's presentation for Meet the Loebs Week.