California Bill OK’s Housing for San Francisco Teachers


California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a state senate bill allowing public school districts to provide subsidized housing for teachers and school employees, potentially offering a reprieve for San Francisco area educators.

Senate Bill 1413, also known as the Teacher Housing Act, was sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and signed into law on Sept. 27 by Gov. Brown. The legislation cites California’s dwindling teacher population as a driving force behind the act, saying the state’s supply of teachers has reached a 12-year low.

In San Francisco, more than 700 teachers had to be hired before the start of the 2015-2016 school year to meet the needs of students. The plight of school faculty in the San Francisco Unified School District is similar to that of employees in districts across the state: rising housing costs.

In order to combat the pressure expensive housing is putting on educators and keep them from moving away, districts are now able to offer affordable rental housing to employees.

The Teacher Housing Act opens up the possibility of districts using available federal, state, and local funds, as well as partnering with private developers, to create rent-based housing complexes for faculty.

The bill essentially greenlights existing plans in San Francisco, where the Examiner reports the SFUSD is already working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing to construct teacher housing after January of 2017.

Sen. Leno said he believes the enactment of his legislation will “help school districts directly address the housing affordability challenges facing teachers and reduce high turnover rates."

“When high quality teachers can’t afford to live where they work, the entire community suffers,” he also said.

Currently, the average rent in San Francisco is nearly $4,000 a month, according to Rent Jungle.

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