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Housing provided for Gardiner school teachers

Is the teacher housing for Gardiner school going to be enough for future hires in the future?
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Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 14:37:20-04

Bozeman is not the only town struggling with the rising housing prices. Gardiner is experiencing price increases in housing that many residents can't afford or can't find housing, including teachers.

“That's the first question everyone asked when we were moving to Gardner was how are you going to find somewhere to live,” says Gardiner school teacher Cody Carlson.

Cody Carlson and his wife Kiara live in teacher housing provided by North Yellowstone Education Foundation. They say it was the best option for them when they were looking for a place to live in Gardiner.

“If that hadn't been an option," says Kiara Carlson, "I'm not really sure what we would have done, probably would have been living with family.”

Their cost of living is significantly less in the teacher housing compared to living somewhere else in Gardiner.

Kiara Carlson says, “Our rent is 700 a month, which is probably at least half of what a lot of long-term rentals would be Gardiner.”

The Carlsons are not the only teachers living in this provided teacher housing. Out of the 17 total teachers at Gardiner School, three teachers are currently living in the teacher housing, and there has just recently been a new vacancy. The Carlsons do plan to buy a house in the future, but as of right now it's just not feasible for them.

“As far as long term, I think yeah, eventually you're going to start looking for a house but at this exact moment that seems to be overwhelming because I just don't even know how teacher salaries we can afford to buy a house,” says Kiara Carlson.

Superintendent Mike Baer understands the struggle with housing and salary for teachers and assures the school is looking for more ways to provide housing for staff.

“The school actually has a piece of property that we've had plans developed for putting multiple housing units on there,” says Baer.

Baer also says the school has been lucky with staffing this year and is not struggling to find livable space for teachers and staff currently. The Carlsons also believe they are lucky with the housing provided by the North Yellowstone Education Foundation.

“Thank you to NYEF, The fact that they took this project on and just to help out people like us,” says Kiara Carlson.