It’s no secret that the cost of housing in the Bay Area is high. Over the last decade the region’s rents
and homeownership costs have escalated so dramatically that nearly one half of all Bay Area residents
struggle to afford their housing. And our region’s educators, the people who teach our children from
cradle to college, are caught squarely in the middle of the housing affordability bind.
Access to safe and affordable housing is key to attracting and retaining qualified educators for our
Bay Area classrooms. The breadth of the affordability gap for California educators was described in a
2019 EdSource special report, noting that “[n]owhere is the gap between teacher pay and housing costs
wider than in the Bay Area. Teachers earning an average salary in nearly 90 percent of districts in the
region did not earn enough to rent an affordable two-bedroom apartment.” 1 While it’s no surprise that
housing is expensive, the data are still shocking.
Housing our educators is imperative, and understanding the range of incomes and the constraints of
educator households is not a mystery. By clearly identifying the affordability levels and the types of
units and housing stock most needed–in other words, a jobs-housing “fit”–we can marshal both the
policy tools and the resources to ensure greater access to safe, affordable housing for the full range of
our children’s educators.