Short of Teachers, New York Tries a Housing Lure

New York plans to offer $14,600 in housing subsidies to lure math, science and special-education teachers to the city. It's the latest tool that several public school districts — in this case the nation's largest — hope will attract good teachers to expensive housing markets.

The New York initiative is the most generous program of its kind in the nation. Chicago offers $7,500 in housing aid. And California has programs to help with housing downpayments. The city's new package was drafted with help fromt the local teachers union.

New York City's teachers' salaries are already among the top for urban school districts. But the disctrict's high need schools are also among the nation's most challenging. And living on teacher's wages in New York can be a struggle.

One real estate expert in New York said that for those wanting to make the move, $5,000 would barely cover the first and last months' rent, along with an apartment finding fee. So, experts say, the housing subsidy won't exactly bribe people to be teachers in New York. But for those already considering making the leap, the new subsidies could make the leap much easier.

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