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  • Daniel Webster

Pflugerville (Texas) district seeks lower-cost area housing for its employees

Mike Kennedy The district will work with a state foundation to subsidize rent costs while it also plans to build its own housing for teachers. The Pflugerville (Texas) school board has approved two measures to bring lower-cost housing to district employees as officials try to retain staff who are having affordability issues. The Austin American Statesman reports that the school board approved an agreement with the Texas Workforce Housing Foundation to provide affordable rent prices to district staff through certain apartment complexes in the area.   The board also approved a $2 million contract with a development firm to help the district establish its own housing for teachers.   As the cost of living continues to rise in the Austin area, many Pflugerville teachers are struggling to keep up. Some are working second jobs or moving out of the district to be able to afford their homes, officials say.   The state foundation will establish an initial $1 million affordability fund and an annual contribution of $50,000 for each property moving forward to be used to provide discounted rent prices to district staff at the apartment complexes, to be picked at a later date.   The fund can be used by district personnel for rental payments, to cover moving expenses, security deposits or for downpayment assistance if they choose to move out.   Adam Harden, a foundation representative, said some units are reserved for families making no more than 30% of the area median income and others for those making no more than 60%.   Rent for a one-bedroom apartment starts at $1,295 and at $1,829 for a two-bedroom unit. But rent for district staff would start at $621 for a one-bedroom unit and $744 for a two-bedroom apartment for an employee making no more than 30% of the are mean income, or $36,690.   Staff making no more than 60% of the area income, or $73,380, would pay rent at $1,242 for a one-bedroom, saving $53 per month, and $1,489 for a two-bedroom apartment, saving $340 per month. Harden said the foundation would be responsible for operating, financing, maintaining, repairing and rehabilitating the housing units.   In 2022, voters approved a proposition that would enable the district to use $43.92 million to build its own teacher housing. The project is expected to create 100 to 200 units available only to teachers. Officials said it could take between two and four years to complete the housing development. 

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