In order to retain more educators, Mayor John McAlister of Mountain View is working on a plan to provide affordable housing for teachers.
"Just look at the large turnover of the teachers we had this last year where they're scrambling to get teachers, and one of the reasons is cost of living around here," McAlister said. "It's just so expensive."
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Mountain View is $2,387, according to myapartmentmap.com. Mayor McAlister wants to rent an affordable housing unit between $1,200 and $1,300 a month.
His idea is to use impact fees from tech corporations in Mountain View to purchase an apartment complex dedicated to teachers. McAlister still needs to propose the idea officially to the board.
The mayor is working with city attorney Jannie Quinn to figure out ways the city can legally provide preferential housing. The city cannot restrict housing to teachers, but should be able to create a tiered system prioritizing teachers first, then public safety workers, then those who work and live in Mountain View.
In order to provide housing quickly, McAlister wants to find an apartment complex south of Highway 101 near schools for the city to purchase. Affordable housing developer MidPen would manage the unit and the city could possibly receive tax credits.
McAlister already has his eye on a couple existing buildings, but wants to figure out a way to not displace current residents. He says he doesn't want teacher housing to be included in the 9,100 housing units the city is considering in the North Bay section of town.
"But everything is negotiable," McAlister said.
The mayor plans to present the project to the board early next year.