OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – A new affordable housing pilot program aimed at recruiting and retaining educators is now available for teachers in the Oakland Unified School District at the Paloma Apartments in the city’s Laurel District.

“This teacher affordability pilot is addressing housing insecurity. It’s addressing the quality of teachers for our children and it’s addressing the issue of teacher attraction and retention in our hardest hire areas. Subjects in STEM and special ed,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. 

Options for teachers in the pilot program include subsidized housing, a financial stipend, free financial advising services, and small interest-free loans.

“And we all know how expensive housing is,” Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said. 

OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell applauds the program’s focus on addressing the housing needs of teachers of color.

“And really understanding the root of what it takes to have a long term commitment around having teachers of color in this district,” Johnson-Trammell said. 

“When I was choosing where I wanted to teach I could have chosen anywhere else but this pilot really made it economically feasible for me to teach in Oakland,” teacher Malik Stead said. 

The property manager who led the leasing effort on behalf of the developer says the privately funded non-profit initiative represents a new relationship between property developers and cities.

“This project has succeeded where other property iniatives have failed. In part because rather than vilifying property owners, it invites them to the table,” Rishi Khosla, 2B Living Property Management, said.

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