HOST-A-TEACHER PROGRAM TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Real Estate Weekly
January 16, 2002
Esther Muller, president of the Academy for Continuing Education and principals of Goodstein Realty have joined forces with the New York City Board of Education to provide affordable housing for qualified teachers
willing to relocate to New York City and join the public school system.
The first phase of the program concentrates on the resources of homeowners and property owners with access to immediate transitional housing. The second phase of the program will call upon a coalition of real estate agencies and professionals, banks and mortgage companies to supply long-term housing at favorable rates, for both rentals and sales.
Temporary rental housing is initially being sought for 8,000 teachers
who have already been recruited by the Board of Education, focusing on apartments priced between $600 and $800 per month and located within
the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester. One component of the
first phase is the “Host-A-Teacher” program, which reaches out to homeowners with spare rooms or finished basements.
In addition, Goodstein Realty and Muller, in tandem with developers at
Liberty Residences in Battery Park City, are working on a special rental program exclusively for new teachers.
“With an expected 10,000 teachers retiring in the summer of 2002, the Board of Education needed to find ways to encourage new staff to join the public school system,” says Leonard Bayer, president, Goodstein Realty.
Goodstein Realty, in conjunction with Muller, has created an orientation guide for new teachers that combines such pertinent information as how to find an apartment, how much money is needed for start up costs (deposit, security, first and last month’s rent, etc.), a description of New York City neighborhoods and public transportation availability. Goodstein brokers
have agreed to accept a discounted commission from teachers relocating to the city. In addition, the company is sponsoring how-to seminars on finding apartments and investing in a home.
The second phase of the project is to help secure permanent, affordable housing through financial incentives on existing properties and new construction, to ensure the teachers remain in the school system. Special incentives for purchasing apartments or homes in New York include such benefits as five percent down payments, favorable mortgage rates, tax abatements and money for first-time home buyers. Moreover, the Board
of Education is adding its own incentives by paying off student loans, subsidizing Master Degree programs and providing health care benefits, pension plans and annuities.
In response to a Board of Education RFP (Request For Proposal) in The New York Times last summer, Muller began putting together a coalition of realtors and professional sources determined to attract skilled educators to New York. Goodstein Realty was enlisted and successfully placed 400 teachers in 200 efficiency apartments at three Ramada Inn locations last summer.