Miami Teachers On Plan For Workforce Housing At Schools: 'What A Joke'
With starting salaries around $40K, Miami teachers can barely afford to pay rent — which averages $1,421 for a one-bedroom apartment. Miami-Dade County officials have announced an exploratory plan to build affordable workforce housing on campuses or right next door to them.
The plan entails a joint venture between the county's school board and housing authority that would first construct a middle school next to Southside Elementary in the trendy downtown Brickell neighborhood, with one floor devoted to residential units, other floors for parking and classrooms on top, the Miami Herald reports.
The next step would be to build a housing complex next to Phillis Wheatley Elementary, near Northwest 18th Street, with about 300 apartments. Teachers would get first dibs on units, and other school staff would get preference after that. Extra units could be offered to the general public.
The plan has momentum: Miami-Dade is already in talks with the Department of Housing and Urban Development for federal tax dollars. JPMorgan Chase gave a $215K grant to the nonprofit Miami Homes For All to help develop the Wheatley plan, and Miami's Omni CRA has voted to help fund the Wheatley project as well.
While officials touted it as a creative solution, some educators had different reactions:
I’m all for creating more affordable housing BUT I’ve got another wild idea, so just hear me out.— nadirah (@polumechanos) March 26, 2018
maybe pay teachers more? https://t.co/H6dmfyWj1S