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Issue Explainer

Affordable Housing

The shortage of affordable housing is pushing more students and families into homelessness and making it impossible for educators to live in the communities where they work.
A family sits in front of moving boxes.
Published: May 2023

Where affordable housing is in short supply, educators are in short supply. Students and their families struggle to find decent places to live. The affordable housing crisis is exacerbating the national educator shortage and putting more students at risk of losing their homes.  

When students have stable, safe places to live, they have the security that helps them thrive. When educators have affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, they can invest more time in supporting, instructing, and inspiring our students.  

The educator shortage has worsened since the pandemic. Not being able to afford a decent place to live —a consequence of inadequate educator pay—is one of the major reasons so many schools don’t have enough teachers, counselors, school bus drivers, and other staff members.  

At the height of the pandemic, a national moratorium on most evictions allowed many families to stay in their homes even if they couldn’t afford to pay rent. However, that temporary measure has ended.  

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, no state in America has enough affordable rental housing to meet the needs of the lowest-income renters.    

We must do more to ensure that educators, students, and families can find decent, affordable housing.

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
Members march down the street wearing red and carrying signs.

Together we're stronger. Together we're heard.

You belong in the movement! Join today to belong to the movement of educators and school staff fighting for the pay and working conditions we all deserve.

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).