While finding affordable housing can be difficult in any community, in Pecos, Texas the issue is particularly acute. Due to its remote location and demand from the oil field services market, housing in Pecos is difficult to obtain for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD staff members. The median age of Pecos real estate is 53 years old, and home value appreciation the last 10 years has increased 194.6%. Renters make up 25.7% of the Pecos population, while only 0.5% of houses and apartments in Pecos are available to rent. Housing is so scant that some residents turn to moving into hotels. For a remote West Texas school district, that exacerbates an already difficult issue of recruitment and retention of staff.
PBT ISD decided to do more than just offer its teachers affordable housing opportunities. Through strategic use of its general funds, PBT ISD is building a 64-unit teacher housing complex designed as a community where teachers can build positive relationships with colleagues featuring a clubhouse, landscaped pathways, dedicated courtyards, barbeque pavilions and dog park. Apartment features include washer/dryer, all kitchen appliances, fire sprinkler system, and high-speed internet. Apartment sizes range from one to three-bedroom units for teachers with families. The average rent costs for a one-bedroom apartment in Pecos is $1,215 a month. At PBT ISD’s complex, a one-bedroom apartment is $725 and includes all utility costs.
While PBT ISD believes providing an opportunity for affordable housing for staff helps to attract and retain talent, the financial, logistical, and emotional support it provides teachers also has long-term benefits leading to successful educational outcomes for its students.
Completion is anticipated for August 2023.