A common refrain across large swaths of Yavapai County: “If I didn’t already own a house, I couldn’t afford to live here.”

And another: “My high school kids have to leave town if they want to live away from home while going to college.”

The housing availability and affordability situation has reached the point that Yavapai College is losing valuable faculty and staff, as well as current and prospective students, to communities with more plentiful and less costly housing.

But rather than raise the white flag, Yavapai College – like many other municipalities across the country, is identifying and investing in solutions. The College is focused heavily on trying to solve some of the housing challenges it is facing as it tries to attract potential employees and students to the college.

While multiple employee and student housing options are under consideration collegewide, as recommended by the college’s strategic plan, one solution is all systems go: a 10-space Recreational Vehicle Park on the YC Verde Valley Campus. The site is just east of the upper vineyard that fuels the Southwest Wine Center – the college’s teaching winery.

The RV Park is a Yavapai College District Governing Board-approved project. It is being designed with 10 RV pads, with the College furnishing RVs for rent on four of the pads, and the other six pads open to College employees or students who already own an RV. Rental fees for the pads will be offered at a significantly low rate compared to other RV Parks in the area.

Because the RV Park can be developed in-house at about 50 percent cost savings and because it addresses a severe housing shortage in the Verde Valley, the project was moved to the top of the college’s housing solutions list.

To ensure compatibility with adjacent large-lot homes, the Verde Campus RV Park is being built with curb appeal and with such amenities as a patio, gazebo, and dog run. Occupants will have access to an onsite laundry facility and, along with their neighbors, a well-maintained gravel road. The goal is to have the project completed by the start of the 2023 fall semester.