New law helps school districts in California establish affordable housing for their employees

SB1413, called the Teacher Housing Act of 2016, provides that a school district may establish and implement programs to help employees who face challenges in securing affordable housing (including both certificated and classified workers).

This new law will allow California school districts to use federal tax credits, as well as local and state monies, when leasing property for the development of affordable housing for teachers and other school district employees.  The new law permits school districts to build rental housing on district-owned property and to restrict occupancy in those projects to school district employees. 

Under the prior law, low-income housing tax credits had to be used for property available to the general public.  Now, such tax credits will be able to be applied to property expressly for school district employees.

The bill’s author wrote:

“California places a high value on its public education system, and the stability of housing for teachers and other school district employees is critical to the overall success and stability of each school in California. Students and the community at large are benefitted by teachers living in the community in which they practice their profession…Lack of affordable housing creates barriers to effective teaching and teacher retention…This bill underscores the critical role that teachers and other education professionals play in the long-term success of our state by allowing for the development of specific housing to keep these hard-working professionals in our communities and our schools.”

The programs that may be implemented under this law may:

  • use federal, state, and local public, private, and nonprofit programs and fiscal resources available to housing developers;
  • promote public and private partnerships; and
  • foster financing opportunities.

For more information, contact your labor law counsel. 

By Anne Yen | November 2, 2016

Legal Developments