EDUCATOR ESTHER MULLER DEVELOPS PLAN To Create Affordable Housing for New Teachers with Board of Education and Goodstein Realty
With an immediate need for more than 8,000 new teachers in the New York City public school system, educator Esther Muller has teamed up with the Board of Education and Goodstein Realty to make affordable housing available to entry-level teachers from across the country. Muller has developed the concept as a means to attract qualified teachers.
“I responded to an RFP in the New York Times seeking a consultant to the New York City Board of Education,” says Muller. “It occurred to me that one
of the reasons why we hadn’t been able to attract good teachers was because they couldn’t afford to live here. I felt that if presented with the
right incentives, most importantly affordable housing, New York City could bring in the finest educators the world has to offer.”
While negotiating with the Board of Education, she contacted Leonard Bayer, president of Goodstein Realty, and discussed the opportunity of developing the project together on behalf of the teachers. The Goodstein Organization has been at the forefront of development for more than 75 years. Through Goodstein’s effort, the Ramada Inn made available 200 efficiency apartments in three locations.
It is Muller’s position that by mobilizing developers to create affordable housing, as well as utilizing existing housing stock from owners and then offering it at affordable rates, teachers will be encouraged to enter the New York City public school system. In addition, the Board of Education is adding its own incentives by paying off their student loans, subsidizing masters degree programs and providing health care benefits, pension plans and annuities to those committed to working with the children of New York.
Ms. Muller has dubbed the new program “E=HIT”, which stands for Education Equals Housing Incentives for Teachers. The immediate goal of the program is to hire 8,000 teachers by year-end 2002, and the long-term goal is to attract and retain the numbers needed as determined by the Board of Education. To accomplish this task, she is continuing her efforts by contacting other members of the real estate community to participate in the endeavor.