- Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook
Teachers working in Silicon Valley school districts are some of the best paid educators in the state. That doesn’t mean they’re not struggling to buy homes.
The median home price tops $1.1 million in San Mateo County, and has risen 5.3% over the past year.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are trying to help by spending $5 million to help at least 60 teachers in Redwood City and East Palo Alto, California purchase real estate.
Their education and healthcare foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has partnered with housing startup Landed in an effort to keep public school teachers in the cities where they work.
When a teacher wants to buy a home, Landed pairs them with an investor who can spare funds for the down payment. When the home eventually sells (or 30 years have passed), the investor takes home up to 25% of the property’s gains or losses. It’s a win for the both of them, assuming real estate prices continue to rise and the house turns a profit.
The San Francisco Business Times reported that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s funding will go to teachers in the Redwood City School District, Ravenswood City School District in Redwood City, and Sequoia Union High School District in East Palo Alto.
The funds will provide up to $120,000 to 60 participating teachers.
The area south of San Francisco has seen skyrocketing real estate prices in recent years because of the proliferation of tech companies in the region. Over the past seven years, San Mateo County added over 54,000 new jobs but only 2,148 new housing units, according to the San Francisco Business Times. Teachers are struggling.
The problem isn’t limited to Silicon Valley. In May, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee committed $44 million to spend on the city’s first teacher housing development. More than 100 rental units will be built and priced below market rates.
That announcement came days after the San Francisco Chronicle published a profile on Etoria Cheeks, a math teacher at a San Francisco public high school who is homeless. Despite having a master’s degree and making about $65,000 a year, Cheeks lost her home in a foreclosure in December and has bounced between hostels, guest rooms, and a homeless shelter since.
Many more Bay Area teachers rent cramped spaces in other people’s homes, drive for Uber, or commute from the far reaches of the East Bay, the Chronicle reported.