The Palo Alto City Council this week voted unanimously to allocate $3 million to subsidize as many as 120 sub-market-rate rental units for teachers.
City leaders hope that the project will keep prevent teachers from having to commute long distances, so they can spend more time in the classrooms. According to RentCafe, the average rent for an apartment in Palo Alto is $3,036.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian—the son of a teacher and one of the officials spearheading the proposal—said the money will be reserved until the rest of the funding comes through. Five school districts still need to set aside a collective $3 million and the city then needs to find a broker to provide $24 million in no-interest or low-interest loan.
Constructing each unit will cost roughly $600,000. That would bring the total price of the project to about $36 million in construction costs—in addition to the $12 million it would take to purchase the land. Simitian is eyeing a 1.5-acre plot of land at 231 Grant Ave., in Palo Alto, which lies right across from the courthouse.
In addition to the funding just approved by Palo Alto city officials, the county has set aside another $6 million from the Stanford Affordable Housing Fund, which reserves money for new housing close to the Stanford University campus.