San Mateo County school district is first in US to offer affordable housing for teachers

NEWS

DALY CITY, Calif. (KRON) — The Jefferson Union High School District made history Wednesday in Daly City as it broke ground for its new affordable employee housing.

The four-story development will have 122 below-market units for faculty and staff. The district is the first in the nation to pass a bond measure supporting the development of affordable housing for employees.

“Today is a day of hope for all of our students,” Dr. Terry Deloria said. “For the three years that I’ve been here we’ve been struggling to find teachers and other staff to fill position across all the schools in our district and our students deserve better .”

Dr. Terry Deloria is the superintendent of the Jefferson Union High School District.

She said the school district is paving ways for employee housing across the nation.

“We’re the first school district in the nation where the community passed a bond to pay for the building for the staff housing,” Deloria said. “And I would say to anyone who’s interested in doing it — they should definitely do it. Every district has different resources.”

The school district passed that bond measure in June 2018 and on Wednesday, it broke ground.

“We’re building 122 units, one, two and three bedroom,” Kalimah Salahuddin said. “We’re hoping to keep it 50-percent below market rate because it doesn’t make sense to build housing that none of our teachers can afford to live in.”

Salahuddin is the president of the school district’s board of education. She helped spearhead the project.

“We had 20-percent turnover with our teachers and staff one year and that’s huge for a district our size,” Salahuddin said. “That’s a third of our staff and so we were looking what could we do to retain teachers we have and attract teachers into district and one of the issues besides their salary was of course the cost of housing and the unavailability of housing.”

Currently some teachers and staff are commuting from places as far as Brentwood.

The district said the project is just one step of many in improving the lives of their faculty and staff, and ultimately — helping the students.

“This will allow teachers to stay here and come year after year and to allow for more bonding with their students,” student John Ocampo said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.