Housing Our Teachers: DCG Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers put their heart and soul into teaching, and at DCG, we put teachers at the heart of everything we do. Because of teachers, our students — and our communities — succeed. Parents, principals, administrators, businesses and governments have a responsibility to invest in the people who change the lives of children every day because their work extends far beyond the classroom.

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8–12, 2017, businesses across the country are offering discounts and promotions to #ThankATeacher. At DCG, we believe the best way to #ThankATeacher is with an affordable home.

What Is Workforce Housing?

Over the past 10 years, it has become increasing hard for our teachers and school staff to afford to live in the communities in which they serve. In California’s most populous counties, only 17 percent of homes for sale were affordable on the average teacher salary. In high-cost metropolitan areas such as San Francisco and San Jose, teachers can afford less than 10 percent of homes. Many school districts are investigating how to develop workforce housing on underutilized property or acquire existing developments to subsidize rental housing for teachers and staff.

This is especially important when it comes to recruiting new teachers and staff. As districts invest time and funds into new employees, employees can live in subsided rental units (typically about 60 percent of the market rate) and use the savings to become homeowners and community residents. Rent rates are typically based on income and are offered to employees who are in their first through seventh year in the district. The average savings are between $500 and $1,000 per month.

How Can Teachers Transition from Renters to Owners?

There are several programs in the public and private sector that help teachers and other school employees transition from renters to homeowners. Employees should check with their city and county for special first-time homebuyer or targeted homeowner assistance programs for public servants. Below are a few programs aimed at helping California teachers and school staff become homeowners.*

Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP): ECTP is a home-buying loan program offered by the California Housing Finance Agency for teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K–12 public school, which includes charter schools and county and continuation schools, buying their first home. ECTP junior loans range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the area in which the home is being purchased and can only be combined with an eligible California Housing Finance Agency first mortgage loan.

Heroes Home Advantage: Heroes Home Advantage is a real estate rebate program and network aimed to help with buying, selling and refinancing a home. The program is available to military personnel, law enforcement officers, firefighters, health care professionals, emergency personnel and teachers. The program can help clients save an average of $2,150 through its lender credit, attorney fee credit, title fee rates and other cost-saving services.

Landed: Landed is a down payment assistance startup that organizes community-based, private capital into funds that cover half of a standard 20 percent down payment for local home-buying educators. The educator doesn’t make any payments on the support but rather pays for it with a portion (typically 25 percent) of the home’s appreciation when it is sold or refinanced. The program is aimed at full-time educators (teachers and staff).

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, DCG is offering a complimentary consultation with your school or district on this important issue. If your school or district is interested in learning more about developing, acquiring or supporting workforce housing, download our Solutions Paper on “The Workforce Housing Advantage” or contact us to learn more.

*DCG does not endorse these programs and companies. They are intended as a sample, not an exhaustive list, of potential programs and criteria for district employees.