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California Housing Has Become Too Expensive For Teachers

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Amid rising home prices and rents in California, housing in the state has become so expensive that many teachers can no longer afford to live in the same area as their schools.

According to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), housing affordability in California has fallen to a 15-year low.

“A minimum annual income of $199,200 was needed to qualify for the purchase of a $883,370 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the second quarter of 2022,” C.A.R. reported. “The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $4,980, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 5.39 percent.”

In response to the record high housing prices, California school districts have been forced to find radical solutions to attract teachers and reduce turnover rates.

In Milpitas, California, the school district has asked local families to take in struggling teachers.

“We’ve lost out on some employees that we tried to recruit because once they see how much it costs to live here, they determine that it’s just not possible,” Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan, told NBC. Jordan says the plan is working, however.

“So far, we’ve had 34 respondents who are interested in providing a room or small space on their property for our educators if needed,” she said.

Megan Carey, the principal of Terra Nova High School, which is part of Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD) near San Francisco, told CBS News that the “high cost of living” was “100%” responsible for “times when we didn’t have a math teacher, or we didn’t have a language teacher.”

JUHSD has resorted to opening a 122-unit apartment complex built for teachers and staff on property owned by the school district.

“It’s very spacious,” said Michaela Ott, who teaches biology at Jefferson High School, which is also part of JUHSD. “Extremely roomy!”

Ott told CBS News that an average two-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood would cost over $3,000 per month. Her rent at the JUHSD-owned apartments is $1,600.

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