Residents Protest Plan for Teacher Housing in San Jose
A plan to build affordable housing units for teachers in San Jose is receiving intense pushback from city residents, some of whom believe it will harm property values in their area.
High emotions were on display at a meeting in South San Jose Wednesday night. San Jose Unified School District leaders were peppered with questions and criticism over their plan to tear down two local schools to make way for new teacher housing in the area.
Among the questions school board members were asked were how many housing units they intend to build and why they couldn’t build them at another location that wouldn’t necessitate the bulldozing of schools. They did not directly respond to those queries, increasing frustrations. Attendees also expressed concerns for their children, housing values, and traffic.
“Change is hard for a lot of people. We’re happy to have this process,” said deputy superintendent Stephen McMahon, as quoted by CBS News. He clarified that the students at Leland High School and Bret Harte Middle School would be relocated and that the plan would not result in any school closures.
San Jose’s housing prices are among the highest in the nation. In 2016, San Jose became the first U.S. city to see an average home price over $1 million. With teacher salaries far below median incomes in the area, the San Jose Unified School District has had considerable trouble attracting and maintaining qualified educators.