•  Author of Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages

  • Co-founder of the non-profit organization SquareOne Villages

  • Advocate for Tiny House Villages as an accessible and sustainable form of affordable housing 



Brief Bio
Press Kit (content)

Andrew Heben is an urban planner, writer, and tiny house builder based in Eugene, Oregon. He has traveled throughout the U.S. to study over a dozen tent cities organized by the homeless, and spent time living at one in Ann Arbor, Michigan known as Camp Take Notice. This experience informed his 2011 award-winning thesis at the University of Cincinnati's School of Urban Planning. Heben has since co-founded Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), a non-profit organization devoted to builting self-managed tiny house villages for those in need of housing. In 2013, he assisted in the planning, design, and building of Opportunity Village, which now houses 30 otherwise homeless individuals and couples at a time. This work, combined with his previous research, inspired Heben's new book, Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages.

Tent City Urbanism explores the intersection of the "tiny house movement" and tent cities organized by the homeless to present an accessible and sustainable housing paradigm that can improve the quality of life for everyone.  Read more...


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About the Book
Press Releases

July 15, 2014 - "Bring on the Tiny House Villages: A new book takes a look at how tent cities organized by the homeless are opening the doors to sustainable housing options."


Homeless encampments, commonly known as tent cities, have been reported to be on the rise in the United States since the economic recession, and Andrew Heben believes that tiny house villages provide a solution. His new book, Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages, tells of how those experiencing homelessness are pioneering these low-cost, low-impact developments in cities throughout the country.  Read more...

Book Front Cover


2010 - present

2010 - present

In the News


"Hailed as a revolutionary approach to dealing with homelessness... Heben’s model could offer hope for many of the 600,000 people on the streets (PDF) of the U.S. on any given night. His idea is spreading, with hut communities now open in Olympia, Washington, and Ithaca, New York. Others are in the works in Madison, Wisconsin, and Austin, Texas."



"Eugene’s Opportunity Village has been arguably the most successful—and least controversial—response to homelessness in an American city in recent memory. Spearheaded by a 26-year-old Ohioan named Andrew Heben, who moved here after doing his senior thesis from the University of Cincinnati in “Tent City Urbanism,” the proposal for Opportunity Village received unanimous support from Eugene’s city council. The planning department official who approved the permit for their site said it was the first time a hearing on a new site permit faced zero opposition from the community. 'Everyone was fine with this,' says Eugene city councilwoman Claire Syrett, whose district includes Opportunity Village."



"The tiny house effort in Eugene, Ore., sprung up after the city shut down an Occupy encampment that turned into a tent city for the homeless. Andrew Heben and others worked with the city, which provided them with land for the project. Opportunity Village Eugene opened in September with little resistance, said Heben, 26, who is on the board of directors... They've done it all for less than $100,000, which is about half the median home price in Eugene, all from private donors with no taxpayer money. He said the story has changed from how tent cities were a problem in America to how the community is banding together."



“With his June 2011 senior thesis examining tent cities, UC planning graduate Andrew Heben seemingly foreshadowed current “Occupy” protests. That research has already been published in Planning magazine, and Heben hopes to turn his student thesis into a book.”  

Opportunity Village in Eugene, OR

Design for Opportunity Village

Concept Plan for Emerald Village


Building a tiny house at Opportunity Village

More information