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Lillian Mongeau – Silicon Valley’s Skyrocketing Housing Costs Shut Teachers Out

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Skyrocketing housing prices in Silicon Valley, the red-hot center of tech entrepreneurship and one of the most highly educated enclaves in the world, are making it hard for teachers to call the area home.

“Housing is one of the biggest reasons we lose teachers from one year to the next,” said Dave Villafana, president of the teachers’ union in Cupertino, Apple’s hometown. “They can’t afford a house and rent is prohibitive as well.”

Villafana, who has taught in Cupertino for 28 years, said that for the last 15 years district teachers have increasingly had to live elsewhere — often a 45- to 65-minute commute away on the area’s clogged freeways — in order to afford rent. Owning a home, he said, is “not even a thought.”

“The reality in Silicon Valley now — for working class or middle class working professionals — is that a single family home is just not a reality for them and it probably won’t be,” said Chris Isaacson, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors [3].

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