Founded in 2020, Teachers Like Me (TLM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of Black teachers in public education in the Kansas City area. In addition to offering training and wellness resources, TLM also offers subsidized housing to its participants for the duration of the three-year program. Removing barriers to affordable, quality housing, TLM is creating an accessible point of entry for young Black educators to join the workforce with support and dignity while focusing on the mission of the program.
Focused on creating housing opportunities in neighborhoods East of Troost Avenue — historically serving as an economic and racial dividing line due to red-lining within urban Kansas City — TLM expressed a desire for designs that enhance the housing experience for the community as a whole.
The first series of developments are located between the 4100 and 4200 blocks of Tracy and Virginia Avenue. Working with TLM, LJC designed models of housing that make use of available and adjacent infill lots and promote communal teacher interaction, enhancing connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood. The proposed configurations respond to the long, narrow sites while eliminating the need for parcel reconfiguration.
The current prototypes feature two stacked 2,700 SF duplexes. The proposed design offers a high level of passive and sustainable strategies, utilizing prefabricated and modular wood structure elements and providing a purposeful connection to the outdoors.
By utilizing the sites as-is combined with the above design strategies, the team ensured a cost-effective solution that is easy to construct and simple to replicate for future expansion.