Teacher housing is a priority for San Francisco Unified School District 

In the next few years, San Francisco Unified School District employees could have the opportunity to live near work in affordable homes that are offered by the school district.

Teachers, classroom aides and other employees make too much money to qualify for low-income housing, but the high cost of living in San Francisco often limits their ability to live in the communities they work in.

The district hopes to help by asking for proposals from developers to provide housing at 1950 Mission St., a property owned by the school district. Such housing would then be offered to employees at below-market rents.

The proposal — which would allow the developer to use the land without having to purchase it — would not directly generate or cost the school district money, officials said. But school board members said the plan would offer some employees a much-needed benefit.

The district is expecting drastic funding cuts of up to $100 million over the next two years. An alternative proposal that sought to generate revenue by building market-rate housing and leasing it to anyone in the hope of earning the district an estimated $500,000 a year was taken off the table because board members wanted to help employees instead.

The starting salary for district teachers is $47,000 for a credentialed, first-year teacher. It increases with experience and additional credentials and training. In order to qualify for federal low income housing, a household of four must earn less than $86,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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

School board President Hydra Mendoza, a strong supporter of teacher housing, had hoped the district could benefit in the form of revenue, but said the district is nonetheless moving in the right direction to get this done.

“Once the request for proposals hits the streets, then we’ll have a better idea of what [developers] are willing to do,” she said.

The project could take several years. The district plans to ask developers for proposals this summer.


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