WCCUSD aims to retain teachers with home down-payment assistance program

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WCCUSD superintendent Matt Duffy (left) shakes hands with Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond at a press conference in fall at WCCUSD to announce a $1.7 million school district grant to combat chronic absenteeism. (Photo credit: WCCUSD)

Teachers and other staff in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) now have access to a home down-payment assistance program as part of an effort by the district to recruit and retain educators.

On Monday, April 16, the district plans to officially announce the launch of the new program at the WCCUSD Educator Housing Fair, which runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond.

The program by San Francisco-based startup Landed provides teachers, administrators, and staff who commit to staying in the district for two years with half of a down payment to purchase a home, up to $120,000 per household. The district staffer would need to come up with the other 10-percent of the minimum down-payment needed to receive a bank loan to purchase the home.

In exchange for its investment, Landed will receive a 25-percent share of the investment gain or loss when the staff member sells the home or buys out the investment. Gains are reinvested to support other school employees’ home purchases, according to Landed.

For a user-friendly guide on how Landed works, go here.

WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy said the program is just one opportunity the district has worked on to retain teachers. WCCUSD loses about 15 percent of its teaching force each year and has hired over 800 teachers in the last four years, according to the district.

“West County, and particularly Richmond, is one of the few places in the Bay Area where home buying is still relatively affordable,” Duffy said in the statement. “Now with Landed, we can help make the home-buying process a little easier for our employees and encourage them to stay in our district.”

Founded in 2015, Landed has been assisting educators purchase homes in several Bay Area cities, having received a $5 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative assist three public school districts on the Peninsula, according to WCCUSD.

Interested educators can apply for Landed support beginning today here.

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