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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Miami-Dade is planning to build apartments for teachers at schools

Por Damian

The Miami-Dade government has a new plan: build apartments on school grounds for teachers to live there. The idea comes as an answer to the gap between the modest wage of teachers and the high cost of houses in Miami, which currently represent one of the most vital issues that affect the guild of educators.

A preliminary proposal includes the construction of an intermediate school in the Brickell area for Southside Elementary, with a floor dedicated to residential units, and several more reserved for parking and classrooms. If all goes well, Miami-Dade wants a housing complex near Phillis Wheatley Elementary, with at least 300 apartments to be built on the campus north of the city center.

"It's a good idea," said Michael Liu, director of Housing Miami-Dade. "The land costs is very expensive in Miami-Dade. It is difficult to achieve, especially in the area with the highest population density. "

Although preliminary, the joint effort of the school system and the Miami-Dade Housing Department has gained energy. The county government is already in discussions with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (the federal agency that oversees some of the county's affordable housing projects). Also, the JPMorgan Chase bank gave $ 215,000 to the nonprofit organization Miami Homes For All in order to help develop the plan in Wheatley, according to a bank statement on March 22.

The downtown Miami district, called the Omni Community Redevelopment Area, which has a budget of more than $ 50 million per year, approved in January an agreement that consists of assigning funds to the project in Wheatley. The county teachers would have priority for the apartments, but the school system does not plan to reserve the units for the teachers of the schools in question. Still, the apartments would probably have a higher demand among those teachers. "One would walk a little and already be in school," said Jaime Torrens, in charge of the school system's facilities.

Torrens said school and housing facilities would share some recreational facilities after school hours (such as playgrounds and community classrooms) and the buildings would be designed so that neighbors and school staff dont interfere with each other during the school day. In the new Southside building, students and neighbors would enter different lobbies on the ground floor and use different elevators. At Phillis Wheatley, the school would be in one building and the apartments in another.