MVWSD forges partnership for staff housing

MVWSD forges partnership for staff housing
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The Mountain View Whisman School District announces an exciting partnership with developers and the City of Mountain View for the city’s first affordable housing development created specifically for MVWSD staff members. A collaborative effort between MVWSD, the City, and Fortbay/Miramar Property Group led to the achievement of this important milestone. Oct. 23, the Mountain View City Council approved the plan 4-0.

The new community, which will include 144 units for rental by staff members, will be built as part of a planned 716-unit project at 777 West Middlefield Rd at the existing Village Lakes. The developer, Fortbay/Miramar Property Group, will build 19 studios, 87 one-bedroom, and 38 two-bedroom units for rental by mostly MVWSD staff members at a below market rate.

The development will feature open space, landscaping, internal pedestrian paseo, and private courtyards. The project aims to connect both Middlefield Rd and Shoreline Blvd. through a park and bike path. Construction would begin in 2020 and be completed in 2022.

There is a clear need for affordable housing for employees of MVWSD. Last year, the District worked with consultants Dutra Cerro Graden to explore the feasibility of staff housing. “In Mountain View in particular, the median home value is over $1,425,000, putting home ownership out of reach for all but a very select few, let alone public servants like educators with an entry annual salary of less than $65,000,” the DCG report cited. In its December 2017 survey, the District found that 79% of respondents pay more than 35% of their household income towards housing costs, 59% of staff members said they would live in staff housing if provided, and 71% of these staff members fall into low and low/moderate income level categories.

Our District’s tagline is “A Foundation of Excellence. A Future of Achievement”. And that foundation starts with retaining great teachers and staff members. Creating this opportunity is essential to our District’s continued success. Considering that living expenses are cited as the number one reason why we lose staff members, this partnership will ultimately benefit our students, families and the greater community,” said Superintendent Dr. Ayindé Rudolph.

The estimated $56 million project will be financed through the District offering Certificates of Participation and the revenue from the rent collected when the units are occupied.

The MVWSD Board of Trustees will consider approval of the terms of the project. Project plans will be reviewed and considered for approval by City Council this fall.

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