Housing costs that outpace income are the expected reality in places like New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. But a lack of affordable housing affects people well beyond the coasts, too. One example? Small town Arizona.
According to a recent story over at CityLab, Vail, Arizona, a town of around 10,000 people outside of Tucson, has started building a community of tiny homes for school teachers who can’t afford to buy a house in the area. According to Zillow, Vail has a median housing cost of $258,600, which puts ownership out of reach for the average school teacher. This has resulted in teachers living in Tucson and commuting 25 miles to work every day.
To help teachers stay in the communities they teach, the town has started planning for a village of a couple dozen 300- to 400-square-foot tiny homes that would sit on the school district’s land. The homes are simple but relatively spacious as far as tiny houses go, with the first examples boasting a full kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Teachers can buy or rent the homes from the district, effectively making their boss their landlord.
According to one teacher profiled in the story, the lowest rent for a house in Vail is $1,200, but she will be paying around $700 a month ($125 of which goes toward leasing the land and utilities) for a tiny home she is purchasing for this new planned community.
It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s one that other cities like San Francisco and Newark are exploring, too, as housing costs continue to price teachers out of the places they’re needed most. Check out the full story here.