Arizona school district to build tiny homes to help teachers with living costs

The Chino Valley Unified School District has a unique way of addressing the teacher shortage – building tiny homes that teachers can rent out.

The solution offers a low price, making it affordable for their salaries. 

A plot of land will see 10 tiny homes built upon it with the goal to address the teacher shortage and growing home prices in Chino Valley.

"What used to be a flood of teachers, we just don't have it anymore," said John Scholl, superintendent of Chino Valley Unified School District.

Over a hundred miles north of Phoenix, the small town of Chino Valley is also being affected by rising house and rental prices. The salaries just don't cut it, especially for teachers in the school district.

The average cost for a home in Chino Valley is over $400,000.

You factor in a teacher's salary, look at what they actually take home, some of the housing options in Chino Valley are not feasible," Scholl said.

He explains the district's turnover for teachers is about 15-25% every year, so that's why the district came up with this unique way of addressing the shortage. 

Ten tiny homes that are located less than five minutes from school.

Construction hasn't started yet, but they've mapped out the plans for these homes. They'll be built on land the district already owns.

The rest is paid for using a $500,000 grant from the Coconino County and Yavapai County education service agencies.

"Our sewer, electrical infrastructure, fire lanes, things like that are all part of the project in addition to the 10 tiny homes," Scholl said.

Scholl says they've had a lot of interest from teachers already in the district, and international teachers especially may benefit from the low rent they plan to charge for the homes.

"They come in, they don't have credit, can't go to a normal housing complex because of lack of credit, and they're here for a short period of time," Scholl said.

These tiny homes aren't meant to be a permanent spot for the teachers, but a starting ground, so they can afford a better home later on.

The district expects the project to be finished in six to nine months.