Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) with Board President London Breed and Supervisors Julie Christensen, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell and Katy Tang announced a new plan to build and preserve housing for 500 San Francisco educators by 2020. Mayor Lee and Superintendent Richard Carranza announced new strategies to achieve these goals: jointly finance at least one new development in the City for educator housing, develop a rental subsidy program for teachers, renew the Teacher Next Door program which provides downpayment assistance to purchase homes in the City, and fund Housing Navigators – counselors to connect teachers with resources available to them through these new programs, existing Below Market Rate programs, and eviction prevention services.
“An investment in a teacher is an investment in the success of our City and the success of our young people,” said Mayor Lee. “Our new strategy to create opportunities for 500 teachers and educators to find affordable housing in San Francisco– from homeownership to rental subsidies to dedicated teacher housing to eviction prevention – is another step in finding real solutions for our City’s housing affordability crisis. Introduced together with the Board of Supervisors, the $310 million affordable housing bond on this November’s ballot will give voters an opportunity to support another step toward creating more affordable housing for the future, and get us closer to delivering more than 10,000 permanently affordable homes available to low and middle income families by 2020.”
“At a time when we are facing a teacher shortage and too many of our staff are being priced out of San Francisco, it is crucial that we do whatever we can to improve housing access and affordability for our educators,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We are excited and encouraged to be working with Mayor Lee and United Educators of San Francisco on specific solutions so we can keep our dedicated teachers in San Francisco and in our classrooms.”
“I’m a graduate of public schools in San Francisco, and honestly I don’t think I would be on the Board of Supervisors but for the support I received from dedicated school teachers along the way,” said Board President London Breed. “It’s difficult for me to afford living in the City, and Supervisors make more than teachers (though some may fairly wonder why). Mayor Lee, Superintendent Carranza, Supervisor Christensen, United Educators, and I are doing everything possible to create stable, affordable homes for our teachers. And the housing bond is a critical part of that effort.”
“Making it possible for our educators to remain in San Francisco by providing opportunities and resources for stable housing is very exciting and something I care deeply about,” said Supervisor Julie Christensen. “These are deserving folks that educate our future leaders. By creating a variety of housing options for our teachers, we can succeed as a City and continue to invest in the future of our residents.”
Mayor Lee’s plan aims to provide 200 forgivable loans through the Teacher Next Door downpayment assistance program that will be renewed if the voters approve the $310 million Affordable Housing Bond measure on the November ballot. In addition, the plan calls for the joint development of educator housing for at least 100 educator households as well as rental assistance for at least 100 educators. The plan will also provide $250,000 in housing counseling services per year for at least 100 educator households over the next five years.
The City, the School District and United Educator of San Francisco have been working on housing solutions for teachers. That partnership focuses on the need to provide a continuum of housing options that best meet the needs of SFUSD educators in order to attract new teachers to the district and to retain experienced teachers during the City’s affordability crisis.