WNPR

Report: In Connecticut Cities, Teachers Can Rent, But Must Wait To Buy

Nov 20, 2017

Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

Among its nationwide data points, the report only looked at three Connecticut cities -- Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford. It examined the average teacher salary and the average price to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

It turns out that teachers in those cities can afford to live where they work, according to the report. But that’s as long as they rent -- the report also found that it could take up to 10 years for a teacher to buy a home in those cities.

Kate Walsh, the council’s president, said in a statement that home ownership is key.

“The most important symbol for prosperity is home ownership,” Walsh said. “It doesn’t just fall to school districts to ensure that teachers can achieve this goal in a reasonable time frame, but also their states… On so many levels, teacher pay is in need of a massive overhaul, but we must start at the beginning to fix this problem, ensuring that teachers can put a roof over their heads.”

A starting teacher salary in Hartford is about $5,000 higher than New Haven, and $6,000 higher than Bridgeport. Teachers from all three districts can cash in their unused sick days, which is also the case at most union-represented towns. This means their total earnings by retirement could be much higher.