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Enough teachers can't afford to live in pricey northern California city where they work, so school district asks community members to rent rooms to them

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A northern California school district is asking community members to rent rooms to teachers who can't afford to live in the pricey area, National Public Radio reported.

What are the details?

Unaffordable housing in northern California has been a longtime problem that seems to keep getting worse. It's so bad that many folks can't afford to live where they work — and that includes public schoolteachers in Milpitas, a Silicon Valley city north of San Jose.

The Milpitas Unified School District has asked people in the expensive area to rent rooms to district teachers, NPR said, adding that last month's appeal came after staffing losses.

The district in the last year lost 10 teachers, officials told the outlet, adding that seven moved to "more affordable" communities,= and three left California.

Two district surveys conducted in 2017 and 2021 showed that some staff members had long commutes and lacked steady housing, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan said at a recent school board meeting, according to NPR.

The Milpitas school board declared in a resolution that "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 outlet added.

NPR also said the district also has explored fixes such as coordinating with agencies that offer loans to educators and considering building small homes on the same lots as larger ones.

What happened since the call went out?

Jordan added to the outlet in a statement that the district has received 55 responses to its rent-to-teachers request — apparent proof that district staff members are "valued by our Milpitas community members, parents and caregivers."

However, the district had not yet heard from employees who secured rooms due to the district's appeal, district spokesperson Scott Forstner told the outlet.

Citing Realtor.com, NPR reported that the median home price in Milpitas is $1.3 million. The outlet added that about 4 in 5 California counties have experienced median home price increases year over year, according to data released last month by the California Association of Realtors.

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