OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- In a renewed push to recruit more teachers of color to Oakland, more affordable housing relief is on the way.
With a $1 million check from Bank of America and a second massive check of $5 million coming from the state of California, the City of Oakland is finding new ways to connect teachers to housing.
"One of the biggest issues facing every teacher in this district is the cost of housing," Asm. Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) said. "And you have teachers who grew up in Oakland, who want to teach in Oakland, who want to live in Oakland and yet their realtors are saying drive 'til you qualify."
'Teachers Rooted in Oakland' (TRiO) first launched two years ago, with the mission of providing affordable housing for teachers in their residency year. It's geared toward Black, Latino and other teachers of color.
TRiO says Oakland Unified School District is made of 90% students of color and yet, 50% of the district staff is White.
Since launching, TRiO helped triple the number of teacher residents and more than triple the number of teacher residents of color, thanks to their housing partner, Riaz Capital.
The checks unveiled Thursday are the fuel launching an extension of this program called TRiO Plus, an affordable housing marketplace online.
That's where every Oakland teacher will be able to search and apply for apartments being offered at special rates.
"Where we work with landlords who offer exclusive discounted housing to Oakland housing to bridge the affordability gap between market rate and what teachers can actually afford, and it's available to all 2,000 plus OUSD teachers," Kyra Mungia, co-founder of Teachers Rooted in Oakland said.
The goal is to help recruit and retain these educators, to keep them 'rooted in Oakland.'
"We are going to continue to fight so that our teachers are provided for, because it means our children are provided for," Asm. Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) said.
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