Got a spare room? Teachers facing staggering housing costs

Education

(NewsNation) — A school district in northern California is asking community members to consider renting out spare rooms to teachers, citing the high cost of living in the county that is driving teachers to seek employment in neighboring communities.

Milpitas United School District, just outside San Jose in the Bay Area, recently passed a resolution in support of affordable housing initiatives, saying 10 teachers left the district last year because of living costs in Santa Clara County. The school board said it continues to pursue housing opportunities for educators, including “private homeowners with rooms to rent.”

“It’s not substantial, but you don’t ever want to lose the good ones. And from my understanding, the ones that left were really showing some promise,” Milpitas School District Teachers’ Association President Diana Orlando said. “If you’re a teacher and your one-bedroom is $3,000, you have to make at least $9,000 gross.”

According to Zumper, the average price for a one bedroom apartment in the area is $2,700. A starting teacher in Milpitas makes $51,000 a year after taxes.

Experts advise shelling out no more than 30% of take-home pay for housing.

Nearly 50 people in the community have offered up a room, NewsNation affiliate KRON reported.

“This is evidence that our entire MUSD Team, which includes our teachers and classified support staff, is valued by our Milpitas community members, parents and caregivers,” the school district said in a statement as reported by KRON.

Those with an available room can submit their information through a form on the school district’s website.

The Bay Area has notoriously become one of the most expensive places in the United States to live, and San Jose is the second most expensive place in the country to rent, according to San Jose Spotlight.

“Many of the Milpitas Unified School District moderate-income employees are working families and are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase or rent a home within a 15 mile radius or close to the Milpitas Unified School District where they work,” the school district said in its resolution.

Teacher salaries have remained stagnant across the country since 1996, and a report from the Economic Policy Institute shows California teachers were paid 17% less than comparable college-educated workers last year.

A recent report by Airbnb found that 20% of hosts identified as an educator or lived with one in 2021. Teachers made nearly $280 million from hosting last year.

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