Education

Wichita No. 1 in affordable housing for teachers, study says

Central Bay Apartments are being built on West Central near the Big Ditch. A new study ranks Wichita No. 1 in affordable rents for teachers. (Nov. 9, 2016)
Central Bay Apartments are being built on West Central near the Big Ditch. A new study ranks Wichita No. 1 in affordable rents for teachers. (Nov. 9, 2016) File photo

Wichita leads the nation in terms of affordable housing for teachers, according to a report released Thursday.

According to Apartment List, Wichita ranks No. 1 out of 50 U.S. cities when it comes to teachers finding an affordable place to live. The website compared teacher salaries with apartment rents to see whether educators could spend less than 30 percent of their income to rent an apartment.

The report found that first-year teachers in Wichita need to spend about 10 percent of their income to pay for half of a two-bedroom apartment.

Fifth-year teachers in Wichita must spend 14 percent of their income to rent a one-bedroom apartment, the study said. And a 10th-year teacher would spend about 16 percent of their income to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

San Francisco is the most unaffordable city for teachers, according to the study. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is almost seven times higher than in Wichita, while teacher salaries in San Francisco are only about 40 percent higher.

In almost a third of the largest U.S. cities, teachers have to spend more than 30 percent of their income to rent an apartment, the report says. In general, apartments are more affordable for teachers in the South, Southwest and Midwest.

“School districts in expensive coastal cities risk losing both entry level and more experienced teachers because they can no longer afford to live where they teach,” the study said.

“Teachers are forced to make the decision to find a higher paying job or move to a more affordable area.”

Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias

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