Small Arizona School District Explores Alternative Housing Solutions for Teachers

Attracting teachers to rural communities can be difficult, especially when there is not a surplus of affordable housing for these working professionals. Teacher salaries are enough to cover living expenses in some areas, but this is not the case in Vail, which is located about 30 miles southeast of Tucson. Because this is a difficult daily commute, the school district has proposed an alternative solution that jumps on a current housing trend with a minimalist design: Tiny houses.

Jumping on the Tiny House Trend

District officials in Vail have proposed building a tiny house community in the area to offer affordable housing that may help address the teacher shortage that the district is experiencing. Tiny houses are often smaller than 500 square feet, but they utilize efficient and creative designs to make the most of that small area and provide a uniquely cozy living space. Rent in these homes would cost between $500 and $600 dollars, significantly lower than the local average and much more attainable on a teacher’s salary.

Addressing a Need for New Teachers

Understandably, a tiny house community would not appeal to everyone, which is why the program is aimed at attracting new and young teachers who would be more excited about downsizing and integrating into a new community. The school district views this solution as a promising way to fulfill the need for new teachers while making these recruits feel welcome in the community they’ll be working in.

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