Facebook Teams Up With Santa Clara County and Palo Alto to Provide Teacher Housing

The quest to find decent housing on a teacher’s salary in California can be daunting. It has spurred ballot measures and protests — but also philanthropy.

Facebook is the latest company to do its part. EdSource reports that the social media giant will donate $25 million to fund up to 120 affordable apartments for teachers in Palo Alto.

The Menlo Park-based social media company announced Thursday it would donate the money to help Santa Clara County build a teacher housing project planned for a 1.5-acre parcel of county property across from the county courthouse in Palo Alto. The county, which began planning the project in January of 2018, has promises of funding from the city of Palo Alto and six school districts and community college districts.

Facebook has previously contributed to housing in Menlo Park, where its headquarters are located. Educators in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties will benefit from the new housing.

According to EdSource, Santa Clara County has set aside $6 million for the project. The City of Palo Alto is putting up $3 million. Additional contributors include the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, Los Altos School District, Mountain View Los Altos School District, Palo Alto Unified School District and Mountain View Whisman School District.

The Silicon Valley housing market is one of the most expensive in the nation. Teachers in Palo Alto made between $65,000 and $131,000 during the 2016-17 school year. An EdSource analysis found many teachers in the area spend up to 30% if their income on rent.


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