AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s no secret that housing prices and rental prices are expensive in Austin.
According to Zumper.com, a site used to locate apartments, the median rent in Austin is now $1,725. Some teachers say it can be hard to live in Austin on a teacher’s salary.
“Teachers just like low-income families are being squeezed out,” said AISD teacher Laura Beck. “It is unfortunate because there is nothing cooler than a teacher being a part of the community in which she teaches.”
Rising prices are one reason why Austin Independent School District has looked at adding affordable housing for teachers.
Austin ISD wants to convert the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility and Rosedale School into housing that is affordable for AISD staff. The district posted preliminary renderings of what the sites could look like, but these are not set. They are hoping to hear ideas from teachers and the community.
“Right now these sites are costing us money especially as they sit vacant,” said Jeremy Striffler, Austin ISD’s director of real estate. “The main theme is building high-quality housing that is affordable relative to wages.”
Over the summer, AISD discussed adding $50 million for affordable housing to their bond package proposals, but affordable housing was later removed from the bond package. However, the district later said the idea may not be completely off the table.
“We’re one of the biggest land owners in the city,” AISD spokesperson Jason Stanford said over the summer. “We own the land which makes it remarkably affordable to own housing, and one of the hardest things for us to retain employees, mainly teachers, is the cost of housing in Austin. So, if we can control that cost, we figure we can retain more teachers.”
AISD is hoping to get feedback on what the sites should look like. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 28th at the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility.