California school district asks parents to rent spare rooms to teachers so they can afford to stay

As Californians face an affordable housing crisis that has renters paying an average of $1,700 for a 1,000 sq. ft. apartment, the Bay area Milpitas School District is asking parents to rent out their spare rooms to teachers who are fleeing the area due to the unsustainable cost of living.

“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 the area’s local NBC affiliate.

It’s a problem many California school districts are facing. Without a nearby, affordable place to live, those on a teacher’s salary are relocating to more budget-friendly districts. In the Milpitas district alone, seven teachers packed their bags last year, according to a message sent out last week to parents.

(Video: YouTube)

In the message, the district asked parents to complete an online form if “you have a room for rent at your home and would like to share the housing opportunity with our Milpitas Unified School District educators,” The Washington Post reports.

Included on the form are questions to determine how many rooms a participating parent has to rent and how much they would charge.

The Milpitas school board unanimously passed a resolution on August 23 to address the problem.

According to the board, “the gap between those who can afford a home in the San Francisco Bay Area and those who cannot, is widening at an alarming rate, with some having to hold part-time jobs to meet monthly housing expenses, and affordable rental housing is in short supply.”

The district’s “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 resolution stated.

In response to a more than 25 percent jump in the cost of building housing, the resolution seeks to form “partnerships involving homebuilders, community groups, and local governments to enhance affordability and to increase production of affordable workforce housing” and “encourages governmental agencies, private sector partnerships, and school district cooperation in promoting affordable workforce housing.”

In the meantime, it appears that parents in the school district are stepping up.

According to district spokesperson Scott Forstner, in just a few days, dozens have responded to the district’s call for help.

In an email to The Post, Jordan stated, “With 53 responses to our call for Rooms for Rent for [district staff] in such a short time, this is evidence that our entire [team], which includes our teachers and classified support staff, is valued by our Milpitas community members, parents and caregivers.”

In other news, NBC Bay Area reported at the end of August that the California Association of Realtors released its July sales and price statistics for the region.

If you can’t afford at least $600,000 to buy a home, you’d better hope a lot of parents have a lot of spare rooms.


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