Oakland – Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel, and non-profit Community Development Finance announced an innovative new pilot program that will provide affordable housing options for teachers and help keep educators rooted in Oakland.
The pilot program offers ‘teacher-residents’ — graduate students training with mentor teachers while completing their teaching credential — the option of subsidized housing at the Paloma Apartments in Oakland’s Laurel District and provides new teachers stipends while also offering free financial advising services, including small interest-free loans.
It’s believed to be the only program of its kind in the Bay Area, and possibly the U.S., to provide subsidies to both working teachers and future teachers through stipends and reduced-price housing.
“Our teachers are at the heart of our community connections in Oakland,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “To thrive and excel in the classroom, we must ensure our teachers feel housing security outside of it. I’m proud to bring together housing and educational leaders for the shared goal of creating more affordable housing for our teachers.”
Recruiting and retaining teachers in Oakland, especially teachers of color, and ensuring housing security is a top priority for the city and district, where over 85% of the students are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). High retention and diversity reinforce community bonds among teachers and the children and families they serve and has been shown to lead to increased outcomes for all students. The pilot program currently serves 12 teachers, 11 of whom are BIPOC and 50% of whom are Bay Area born or raised.
Teachers of color in particular matter for our students: Research shows1 that not only do students of all races have more positive perceptions of their Black and Latinx teachers than they do of their white teachers, but they’re also more likely to graduate high school and more likely to feel cared for, engaged in school work, and confident. Recent studies also show that (link to study):
Two-thirds of Oakland teachers are housing-impacted (spending 30% of salary on housing)
40% of Oakland teachers spend 30-50% of income on housing; 61% of teachers of color spend over 30% of their income on housing
40% of teachers plan to leave the Bay Area within the next 5 years due to the cost of living
“As everyone knows, the Bay Area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “It is critical that we help our educators grow roots here in Oakland. We are thrilled that this new affordable housing program will mean they can worry far less about housing, and instead focus all their attention on their students. We want to bring more teachers of color to Oakland, and we want all of…
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