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NY Times: The Fight to Keep Teachers in Tech Hubs From Being Priced Out

Kat Clark | 7 Jan 2019

Holly-Daniel-Gonzalez-by-Jim-Wilson-NY-TimesHolly and Daniel Gonzalez with their sons, Arlo and Enzo. They were able to buy a three-bedroom garden apartment with assistance from Landed. Photo credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times.

Landed was featured in the January 4, 2019 edition of The New York Times. The post below contains quotes from the article, “The Fight to Keep Teachers in Tech Hubs From Being Priced Out,” written by Dana Goldstein. The full story highlights the ongoing debate about building new housing for educators, and we are sharing excerpts here to underscore the challenges educators and school employees face in the areas Landed serves.

“...school employees say they cannot afford to live comfortably in regions awash in tech dollars... From San Francisco to Seattle to Denver to Los Angeles, [struggling educators] are spending four hours per day commuting, or have relied on charitable funding for mortgage assistance. While several districts have tried to make it easier for teachers to live where they work, their efforts are not always welcomed by local homeowners, opening up new debates over gentrification and what obligations the expanding tech sector has to the cities that host its offices.

[...] Starting salaries for teachers [in Almaden Valley] range between $55,000 and $79,000. That kind of money does not go far in an area where the median home price is over $1 million, and the district cannot easily raise compensation to account for housing costs. Despite being one of the nation’s richest states, California’s education spending, about $11,000 per student, was slightly below the national average in 2016. 

[...] Teachers who can come up with at least half of a down payment can turn to Landed, a start-up that helps educators buy homes.

Holly Gonzalez, 34, a kindergarten teacher in East San Jose, and her husband, Daniel, a school district I.T. specialist, were able to buy a three-bedroom apartment for $610,000 this summer with help from their parents and from Landed. When they sell the home, they will owe Landed 25 percent of any gain in its value. [Note from Landed: if the home goes down in value, we will share in the loss. An overview of how Landed's down payment support program works is available here.]  The company is financed partly by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mark Zuckerberg’s charitable arm.

Ms. Gonzalez, who has two sons, said that she and her husband were grateful, but that they had given up a lot, like a backyard. 'To be willing to pay what we paid for this? You have to be desperate,' she said.

They remain anxious about their economic future, especially since San Jose’s land sale to Google, which the City Council approved in December over the shouts of anti-gentrification activists, and is expected to bring in 20,000 mostly high-income tech jobs.

Gentrification, Ms. Gonzalez said, could push out even more low-income families in her district, and declining school enrollment could mean layoffs for teachers.”

Read the full story on the NY Times website.

More news coverage of Landed is available at landed.com/news.

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About the Author

Kat Clark

Kat works on the Growth team at Landed, where she leads Engagement. She previously worked at four schools in three states.

Looking for Landed's down payment program? Due to a temporary unavailability of DPP investment funds, all Landed metro areas are being put on a DPP waitlist effective September 8, 2022. You can read all the details (including FAQs) here if you would like to know more.