SFUSD looks to assist teachers with housing

The high cost of housing in San Francisco has forced some public school teachers to leave The City or bunk up with other teachers to save on rent.

San Francisco Unified School District officials want to change that and boost teacher retention by converting district property to subsidized housing for employees.

“In some cases, there are three or four teachers to a house,” Board of Education member Hydra Mendoza said. “Providing affordable housing is an incentive to keep them.”

Though the details are still unknown, Mendoza said the district is considering converting two properties and offering reduced-price teacher housing there.

“It’s a nice way to thank teachers who are committed to working in these neighborhoods,” Mendoza said.

One property, at 1950 Mission St., could support more than 100 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The second, at 1155 Page St., could accommodate 30 units.

Nearly one-third of San Francisco’s 4,587 public school teachers live outside The City, according to the United Educators of San Francisco, the teachers union. Additionally, 75 percent of the 1,463 teacher aides — known as paraprofessionals — commute from around the Bay Area.

The teachers union has been pushing for housing for years and believes it would help attract quality employees to the district, union President Dennis Kelly said.

“Hopefully it’s finally coming together,” Kelly said. “There’s a huge amount of turnover for teachers in their third to fifth years. Housing is often a part of that decision to leave.”

Mendoza said past budget problems have delayed any potential development. No funding source has been identified to convert either property.

The district’s Building, Grounds and Services Committee, which Mendoza chairs, discussed potential locations for the teacher housing last month and the board as a whole will discuss the item Tuesday. No vote is scheduled.

According to the SFUSD, a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree makes a base salary of $47,000 annually. Teachers’ salaries are based on years of experience and additional credential hours.

 

Business travelers

Nearly one-third of San Francisco’s public school teachers live outside The City.

  Teachers Paraprofessionals
Employed by SFUSD 4,587 1,463
San Francisco residents 3,305 358
Commute to The City 1,285 1,105

Source: United Educators of San Francisco

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