Tiny Homes for Teachers

Tiny Homes for Teachers


MANY OF ARIZONA’S PUBLIC
SCHOOL TEACHERS WILL GET A PUMP IN PAY THIS UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR
AFTER THE STATE PROVIDED ENOUGH FUNDING FOR THE RAISE.
FOR SOME, FINDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING CAN BE DIFFICULT.
THE VEIL SCHOOL DISTRICT HEARD THIS FROM STAFF AND DEVISED A
SOLUTION THAT WILL ALLOW TEACHERS TO LIVE IN VAIL AS LONG
AS THEY DON’T MIND DOWNSIZING. THIS IS WHERE THE PIONEERS OF
VAIL LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF A COMMUNITY THAT NOW HOVERED
AROUND 11,000. THE ORIGINAL POST OFFICE STILL
STANDS, THOUGH IT HAS BEEN BETTER DAYS AND WILL GO THROUGH
RESTORATION ALONG WITH THE LAND AROUND IT.
>>THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY REIMAGINE WHAT WAS THE
ORIGINAL TOWN SITE OF VAIL.>>THIS LAND BETWEEN THE TRACKS
NOW BELONGS TO THE VAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT.
AND IT’S WHERE DISTRICT LEADERS ARE PIONEERING A WAY TO RECRUIT
AND RETAIN EDUCATORS AND STAFF WITH TINY HOMES.
>>WE’RE 425 SQUARE MILES IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
THERE ARE NO APARTMENTS. SO MOST OF OUR STAFF, ESPECIALLY
OUR YOUNGER STAFF, LIVE IN TOWN. IN APPARENTMENTS AND HAVE TO
TRAVEL TO VAIL.>>A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, THE
DISTRICT PITCHED THE IDEA TO STAFF FOR A TINY HOUSE
COMMUNITY. 24 HOMES ON 14 ACRES OF LAND.
THE FIRST HOME WENT UP IN MAY. SYDNEY AND HER FIANCE MOVED IN
AT THE BEGINNING OF JULY.>>WE ARE THE GUINEA PIGS.
WE MAKE A LOT OF FRIENDS. PEOPLE ARE SLOWLY DRIVING AND
WE’RE LIKE WAVING THEM IN. I’VE GOTTEN TO WORK A LOT WITH
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THAT’S BEEN AMAZING.
EVERYONE’S BEEN REALLY ALL IN ON THIS PROJECT.
>>NOW BEGINNING HER FIFTH YEAR OF TEACHING AT VALLEY ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL, CHER SAYS SHE, HER FEAR YANCEY AND THEIR TWO DOGS
TRANSITIONED SMOOTHLY INTO THEIR 400 SQUARE FEET OF LIVING SPACE.
>>IT’S NOT INCONVENIENT ACTUALLY.
I WAS JUST SITTING EATING DINNER THE OTHER NIGHT SAYING, DO YOU
FEEL LIKE YOU’RE SQUEEZED IN HERE AT ALL?
AND MY FIANCE’S LIKE, NO, THIS IS NORMAL.
>>AT 12 x 30 FEET, THE HOMES RANGE BETWEEN $60,000 AND
$70,000. THE VAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT DOESN’T
OWN THE HOMES. IT GIVES EMPLOYEES THE OPTION TO
BUY THEIR OWN OR RENT A HOME PURCHASED BY AN OUTSIDE
INVESTOR. THE DISTRICT DOES COLLECT A
MONTHLY FEE OF $125 TO LEASE SPACE ON ITS LAND WHICH ALSO
COVERS UTILITIES AND INTERNET. IT’S TRYING TO KEEP MONTHLY
HOUSING EXPENSES BELOW $725.>>WE AREN’T LOOKING TO EARN A
PROFIT. WE’RE LOOKING TO INVEST IN
STAFF.>>CHER AND HER FIANCE ARE IN
THE PROCESS OF BUYING A TINY HOME OF THEIR OWN.
FOR NOW, THEY PAY $550 A MONTH TO RENT THIS ONE.
NOT INCLUDING THE LEASING FEE. AT THEIR LAST APARTMENT, THE
COUPLE PAID $825 A MONTH BEFORE UTILITIES.
SHE ESTIMATES THEY WILL SAVE ABOUT $300 A MONTH.
>>MY RENT WAS RIDICULOUSLY HIGH.
IT WAS JUST BEING THROWN AWAY EACH MONTH.
TO BE ABLE TO OWN SOMETHING AND HAVE THAT AS MY SPACE, TO BE
INVESTING IN SOMETHING THAT’S GOOD FOR MY FUTURE, THAT’S JUST
AN AMAZING FEELING. ON TOP OF THAT, IT ALLOWS ME TO
SAVE MONEY. THAT’S SOMETHING WE’VE NEVER
BEEN ABLE TO DO BEFORE. WE WANT TO TAKE TRIPS.
WE WANT TO RETIRE.>>THE WHOLE MOVEMENT AND
CONCEPT OF INVESTING YOUR INCOME IN TIME AND IN EXPERIENCE
INSTEAD OF THINGS, WE HEARD FROM OUR STAFF THAT THAT IS A
DIRECTION THEY WOULD LIKE TO GO.>>A COMMON CRITICISM
CHARACTERIZES THE TINY HOMES A COPOUT TO AVOID PAYING EDUCATORS
ENOUGH TO AFFORD A HOME IN VEIL WHERE THE AVERAGE LIST PRICE IS
$257,000 AND THE AVERAGE TEACHER SALARY IS ABOUT $43,000.
>>WE HAVE PEOPLE LITERALLY DRIVE BY AND WANT TO CHECK IT
OUT. SO THIS IS OUR HOUSE.
IT’S ABOUT 400 SQUARE FEET.>>ASSOCIATE SUPERINTENDANT JOHN
CARUTH UNDERSTANDS THE ARGUMENT BUT DOESN’T ENTIRELY AGREE.
HE SAYS THE ABILITY TO RAISE PAY LARGELY DEPENDS ON FUNDING
PROVIDED BY THE STATE.>>THERE IS CERTAINLY A FRACTION
OUT THERE THAT ARE LOOKING AT IT AS A TEACHER SALARY ISSUE AND
SOLELY THROUGH THAT LENS. AND DON’T THINK THAT THIS IS AN
OKAY THING TO DO. BECAUSE TEACHERS SHOULD BE ABLE
TO AFFORD A REGULAR HOUSE. I COULD NOT AGREE WITH THAT
MORE. WE CHOSE THIS ROUTE BECAUSE IT
IS SOMETHING WE CAN CONTROL OF THE MYRIAD OF THINGS THAT AFFECT
TEACHER QUALITY AND TEACHER COMPENSATION, THIS IS SOMETHING
WE HAVE CONTROL OVER. WE CAN INVEST IN THIS IN A WAY
THAT IS SIGNIFICANT FOR OUR STAFF.
>>Reporter: THE VEIL SCHOOL DISTRICT ISN’T ALONE IN ITS
EFFORTS TO SECURE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR EMPLOYEES.
IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE CITY PLANS TO DEVELOP A COMMUNITY WITH 100
APARTMENTS FOR EDUCATORS. IN INDIANAPOLIS, A NONPROFIT
BUILT AND REHABBED MORE THAN A DOZEN HOMES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD
DUBBED THE EDUCATOR’S VILLAGE. IN MIAMI, THE COUNTY SCHOOL
SYSTEM IS TINKERING WITH AN IDEA TO BUILD A SCHOOL THAT INCLUDE
ACE FLOOR FOR TEACHERS.
>>ALSO, IT’S NOT JUST A TEACHER ISSUE, IT’S A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL
ISSUE IN THIS WORLD. YOU GET OUT OF COLLEGE, YOU’RE
CARRYING STUDENT LOAN DEBT. REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOUR STARTING
PAY IS. TRYING TO FIND A HOUSE OR
AFFORDABLE APARTMENT, THAT’S REALLY TOUGH.
>>THE PROJECT IS DESIGNED TO APPEAL TO EDUCATORS LIKE CHER
WHO VALUE COMMUNITY. WHERE A BYSTANDER SEES VACANT
LAND, SHE SEES SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
>>I SEE A LOT OF POTENTIAL. I KNOW THE PLANS ARE AMAZING.
THERE’S WALKING PATHS. POTENTIAL FOR A COMMUNITY
GARDEN. FOR MAYBE A DOG PARK.
FOR COMMON AREAS. I SEE US ALL GOING OUTSIDE ON
SATURDAY NIGHT AND HAVING A POTLUCK DINNER WITH ALL THE
TEACHERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, YOU KNOW, I SEE A COMMUNITY CENTER
FOR VAIL. THAT POSITIVE ATTITUDE COMES
WITH ME TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY AND GOES TO MY CHILDREN.

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