San Francisco working to make housing affordable for teachers

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The desire to provide affordable housing for San Francisco teachers is moving closer to reality. (KGO-TV)

The desire to provide affordable housing for San Francisco teachers is moving closer to reality.

The city is helping build units on land owned by the school district. But, that's only a first step.

Many teachers in San Francisco have a hard time paying for housing in a city where rents have skyrocketed. Today between 70 and 74 percent of teachers still live in San Francisco but the rest of them have been priced out.

"It was time to move. The rent was going up and the only place I could find that would take my dog and I was in Oakland," teacher Cassandra Curiel said.

Curiel says now a lot of her time is spent commuting, which means less time spent at school.

"I don't have as strong a connection to students that I used to have," Curiel said.

Even though over the past three years teacher salaries have gone up by nearly 15 percent, the cost of housing in San Francisco has escalated to a point that it's not affordable for many. The mayor announced

The city was now committing $44 million to build between 130 and 150 units for teachers.

"We simply decided it's time for action. I think the teachers need to see a city that says we care, through actions, that we do care about their future," Mayor Lee said.

The project would be where the old Francis Scott Key School was located on 43rd avenue in the sunset district.

The site is owned by the San Francisco Unified School District, it's been empty for years and used for district offices and a warehouse.

But city officials agree it certainly won't be enough. So on Tuesday, the board of supervisors will take a look at a proposal that would increase the amount needed to qualify for affordable housing. It could go to up $150,000.

"You're talking about potentially thousands of units over the next three years that teachers and their families, first responders, firefighters, nurses can now get in the lottery and become qualified for affordable housing in San Francisco," San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai said.

This could help reduce the teacher turnover rate the district is already experiencing.

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