Arizona is Building Tiny Homes for Teachers Instead of Paying Them a Living Wage

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Elementary school teacher Sydney Scharer lives with her fiancé in a 400-square-foot home owned by the school district. Megan Kimble/CityLab

This is something new in the United States of America. The state of Arizona is building tiny homes for teachers since teachers in many districts can’t afford to buy or rent a home in the district where they teach.

Some charter-friendly districts have built “teachers’ villages” to house teachers from Teach for America.

However, this is the first many of us have heard of tiny homes. A tiny home is 400 square feet. It includes a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. No living room.

Indeed, a tiny home can only serve as a solution for a very specific demographic. Scharer, who is 25 (shown above), isn’t planning on raising a family in the tiny home. If and when she and her fiancé decide to have children, she says they’ll hopefully have saved up enough money for a down payment on a larger home in Vail. But for now, she’s happy live small and save money.

“The more we stay here, the more we’re part of Vail,” she says.

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