Home is where the heart is, and maybe soon for some South Florida teachers, where the whiteboard is. Miami-Dade County has worked up a rough draft of plans for apartments on school properties in an effort to make housing for teachers more affordable and the commute obviously easier, per the Miami Herald. So far the initial blueprint worked up by the county's school system and its housing division includes a proposal for a new-construction, multi-level middle school with one floor dedicated to residential units, as well as an entire apartment complex that could contain up to 300 units and be set next to an existing elementary school. County teachers would get first dibs on the apartments (followed by school system employees, then possibly the general public), though teachers at the particular schools where the apartments are located wouldn't be guaranteed a vacancy.
Michael Liu, the county's housing director, calls it an "exciting idea," adding "land is at a premium [and] difficult to come by, especially in the urban core." It becomes even harder for teachers with a large gap between paychecks and housing they can afford; Miami comes in 47th out of the nation's 50 largest real-estate markets in terms of affordability. Construction Dive notes other school districts around the country that have seen housing geared toward teachers pop up, including a recent push in San Francisco to keep hundreds of its teachers local, per a 2016 article in USA Today. For those worried about contact between apartment-dwellers and students, the Miami school system's facilities chief says the building designs would ensure interactions during school hours don't happen, with different entrances and elevators for students and residents in the proposed Brickell middle school. (Read more Miami stories.)