Landed is hitting the road this fall...bringing our down payment program to educators in both the Los Angeles and Denver Metro Areas. Over the last decade, these cities have seen an unprecedented increase in housing costs. Educators, school employees, and other essential workers in these regions are struggling to envision a future in their communities, as homeownership slips farther and farther out of reach. That’s why tools like Landed are critical for helping educators stay in the communities they serve. In this post, we take a closer look at the recent housing trends impacting Los Angeles and Denver, as well as the innovative partners and co-collaborators helping us bring Landed to their communities.
In recent years, Los Angeles, one of the most demographically diverse cities in the country, has become increasingly unaffordable to middle-income workers. According to a recent UCLA study on housing affordability, Los Angeles, “is the single most unaffordable city for both renters and buyers. Though the cost of housing is higher in other cities, median income in LA is low enough that more residents will struggle to make monthly rental payments or save to buy a home.”
Educators are feeling this crunch. A recent Redfin study notes that only 7.1% of homes in Los Angeles are currently affordable to teachers. While this statistic may seem encouraging compared to San Francisco’s paltry 0.2%, the rate of change has been astounding. In the last year alone, median sale prices have jumped 9%, reaching an all-time high.
As a result, educators are being pushed out farther and farther from the communities they serve. As the Redfin study notes, “LA County is huge and the few homes that are affordable on the average teacher salary are nowhere near where the bulk of LA’s schools are located.” And as numerous studies have shown, longer commutes increase stress, impact health and well-being, and increase risk of attrition.
In the face of this great challenge, we’re excited to announce our first Southern California partnership with Redondo Beach Unified School District. As of this month, all RBUSD educators and school employees have access to Landed’s down payment program, up to $120,000 per qualifying family. From our first conversations with the district, we were struck by the community’s shared commitment to exploring innovative, out-of-the-box solutions that address the challenges staff face around housing. It’s been a joy to collaborate with RBUSD leaders to bring Landed to local educators.
“The median home price in our district is $1 Million. Landed enables our staff to envision a future in our community by putting homeownership within reach.” –RBUSD Superintendent, Steven Keller
Similar to Los Angeles, Colorado is experiencing statewide rapid population growth combined with limited new housing construction, pushing both rents and home prices to record levels. This, combined with a 7.7% decline (adjusted for inflation), in teacher salaries over the last decade has created an unprecedented teacher shortage that Colorado schools and philanthropic leaders are scrambling to address before cities like Denver reach levels of Bay Area unaffordability.
We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with several of these leaders to bring Landed’s down payment program to Colorado. Allen Balczarek at Denver Public Schools has been a phenomenal thought partner and co-collaborator in his efforts to design comprehensive solutions for Denver educators.
Similarly, Tony Lewis and Paula Davis of the Donnell-Kay Foundation have put housing at the forefront of their education agenda, hosting a teacher housing summit and publishing a in-depth report on Affordable Housing Solutions for Educators, examining successful educator housing models from around the country. According to this report, “Providing affordable housing options is worthwhile not just for the educational benefits to students, but it also improves the lives of teachers – a worthwhile goal in and of itself.” Donnell-Kay has also committed to invest capital our down payment program for Denver charter schools, as our first Colorado-based foundation partner.
Landed co-founder Alex Lofton presenting at the Donnell-Kay Foundation Teacher Housing Summit
In the coming months, we hope to share new stories of educators that, with Landed’s support, have realized the dream of homeownership in Los Angeles and Denver. Want to bring Landed to your community? We’re adding new programs every week. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a homebuyer interested in learning if you qualify for Landed, you can reach out to us here.