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Back to School Edition: Helping Teachers Live Where They Work

September 4, 2015 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: Affordable Housing, First Time Buyer, Homeownership, Homes for Texas Heroes, Teachers

As parents of school-age children know, teachers play a critical role in not only educating children, but preparing them to become productive members of society. 

But rising home prices have left many Texas teachers unable to buy a home in their district, forcing them to move further out where home prices are cheaper.

Citing research conducted by the National Housing Conference, a recent article emphasizes the wide-spread nature of the teacher housing crisis. According to the research, teachers can’t afford median-priced homes in one-third of the 200 metro areas they surveyed.  

And the crisis is not limited to coastal cities such as New York and San Francisco, which are known for high housing costs. In Texas, the median teacher salary is $46,110, which puts median home prices out of reach in most large Texas cities, including Austin (with a median home price of $261,200), Dallas ($230,400) and Houston ($210,700).

This is a crisis affecting not only teachers, but the communities they serve. According to Janet Viveiros, senior research associate at the National Housing Conference, the lack of affordable housing stock “can really put communities at a disadvantage for attracting high quality teachers… who are unwilling to remain committed to extremely long commutes.”

Home Buyer Programs for Teachers

Are you a Texas teacher looking to purchase a home? Fortunately there are programs that may be able to help you buy a home closer to where you work. Through our Homes for Texas Heroes Program, TSAHC provides qualified teachers with low, fixed-rate home loans, grants for down payment assistance and mortgage tax credits. Click here to learn more about our home loans and other assistance available for Texas teachers.

A recent article provides a comprehensive list of programs, including TSAHC’s, that can help teachers afford to purchase a home.  We encourage you to review all the programs carefully to see which option you qualify for and which works best for your financial situation.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Shirley Wooten

I had always wanted to be a teacher when I was growing up.  I loved kids and loved teaching them.  I was unable to pursue this way of life but I helped my daughter become one.  I did not realize how hard it was to find housing that a teacher can afford.  My daughter has 2 teenage children and is trying to raise them and survive on a teacher salary.  She is paying back her loan and this takes a large chunk of her check.  She is not able to buy a house, driving my car and surviving from paycheck to paycheck.  She only has one credit card which she keeps paid up but needs it for any traveling she does.  Housing is one of the biggest problems new teachers face today.  My daughter was unable to take one teaching position because she could not find a place to live.  She is living in a shack and driving 30 miles to where she teaches!!

Laura Ross

Hi Kristen, thank you for your comment. The Texas Financial Toolbox ( is a helpful online tool that can connect you with an organization that provides credit counseling and other services to help you achieve your financial and homeownership goals.


This doesn’t help the teacher whose credit has already been affected because of low pay and everything that goes along with it (late payments/a prior eviction, etc.)

It’s hard being a single teacher in Texas these days. I’m trying to find my way out. I’m sad that I went into 70,000 of debt to become a teacher late in life. How could I foresee apartment rent skyrocketing and my pay not keeping up with the cost of living?  Purchasing a home is something I cannot see in my future unless I choose another profession.

My children have all graduated and are out of the house so the fact I never received child support is no longer the problem. I still cannot afford rent. I rent a room from a friend. I’m very thankful that I have this as a choice. I feel for teachers who do not have this option.

Carey E Conner

Looking for a home for myself.

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