A teacherage is defined as “the residence of a teacher, when provided by the teacher’s school.” Some school districts have recently received funding for their own teacherages, including Page Unified School District, Prescott Unified School District and Sedona- Creek Unified School District. In addition, Fredonia-Moccasin Unified School District has applied for, and received approval for, a $500,000 matching grant to build their own teacherage.
Left to right:
Concept drawings of proposed teacherages.
Aerial view of building site at Brown St. and First West St. in Fredonia.
According to the grant application submitted by the school district, they believe the shortage of homes available for sale or rent in the area “contributes significantly to the difficulty in recruiting and retaining qualified faculty … district administration is confident that available affordable housing will greatly augment our ability at attract and retain quality educators.”
Prior to submitting the grant application, FMUSD states they “participated in a community meeting to discuss growth in the area and gather information to determine the type of housing the community would be proud of. FMUSD has also worked with the Town of Fredonia and the Mayor [who is also a member of the district administrative staff] with zoning requirements and to gather support and petition the town council to waive impact fees for the project.”
The beginning phase of this project consists of three duplexes – each building will contain two 1,229 square foot units with three-bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage for each. FMUSD writes in their grant application they will give priority for occupancy to, first, “duly licensed teachers employed by the district. Secondary consideration will be given to teachers still working on full licensure and other district employees.” If there are no district employees who wish to live in the teacherages, other members of the community may be given consideration.
“Planned rental charges will be the lesser of 25 percent of total monthly salary or 80 per-cent of the prevailing market rate for a part-time district employee; 100 percent of the prevailing market rate for a non-employee … For FMUSD employees, 25 percent of the total rental payments will be refundable subject to the fol-lowing conditions: any necessary repairs or cleaning at the end of the agreed-upon lease term will be subtracted from the refundable amount, and the refund must be used for a down-payment on a home built or purchased within the school boundaries of FMUSD.”
As for maintenance and management of the teacherages, the district administration “has a basic structure in mind … the district will expand maintenance staff to make needed repairs to the homes and to provide grounds-keeping services for the front yards to ensure that the homes positively contribute to the neighborhood’s visual appeal. The maintenance will be paid for out of rental revenues.”
The budget for this project is $1,400,000: $500,000 are grant funds; $500,000 will be matched from FMUSD with funds from local cash re-serves; and the final $400,000 is in the form of a 3.22-acre parcel of land already owned by FMUSD. It is estimated the cost per building will be $333,333, or $166,667 per unit.
FMUSD is hoping to begin construction in June of this year in order to have the teacherages available for the upcoming school year. The FMUSD Teacherage Grant Application in its entirety, and answers to any questions, are available at the FMUSD District Office.