One Arizona Town Is Building Tiny Houses for Its Teachers
As the war wages on to figure out how to compensate our teachers properly for the priceless work they provide by educating future generations of Americans, some school districts are tackling one aspect—providing affordable teacher housing. And they’re doing it with tiny houses.
Diminutive dwellings have provided dignity and a leg up for homeless folks, helped universities solve student housing crises, and offered an accessible first foray into homeownership for workers living on a minimum wage salary. Now, wealthy school districts are starting to address the disparities between housing stock and affordability by providing their educators and school administrators with teacher- and staff-only housing. And one town in Arizona is turning to tiny homes for their solution.
Back in January, Education Week first reported that the Vail Unified school district in Arizona plans to build up to 24 “luxury” tiny homes for its teachers on district-owned desert land. The affluent city has no apartment complexes, and the median house price is about $260,000, so district leaders (including the associate school superintendent) aim to have several tiny homes move-in ready by the next school year. One school district in Colorado, Eagle County, also proposed future tiny homes for teachers back in 2017.
While critics of such proposals claim that tiny homes are not a scalable solution, or not as scalable a solution as apartment complexes, the Colorado proposal shows that 15 to 18 tiny homes can easily fit on a 1-acre plot of land even with “natural and man-made restrictions” taken into consideration, versus perhaps four or five traditional single-family homes.