Introducing Women’s Homeownership Series: Rachel

 

The NAWRB Women’s Homeownership Series is a series of fictional articles profiling the obstacles women encounter in their personal and professional lives. From homeownership to career advancement, these articles are designed to shed light on the unprecedented difficulties women face when attempting to create better lives.

Name: Rachel Delver
Age: 34
Relationship Status: Single
Children: Samuel, 4 years old
Job: High School Math Teacher
Salary: $51,352 yearly, $4,279 monthly
Home: 2 bedroom apartment for $2,003 monthly
Son’s preschool: $800 monthly from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Rachel, a single mother living in Hayward, California, enjoys spending time with her son, seeing friends, going to the movies and imagining her dream home. Her weekday morning routine consists of waking up at 6:30 a.m. to pack lunches, dropping Sam off at preschool by 7:30 a.m. and driving 15 minutes north to her job at the local high school.

Rachel loves her job, and she’s great at it; helping her students thrive in a daunting subject matter is incredibly rewarding. Her talent and dedication as an educator recently earned Rachel a job offer from a private San Francisco school. It’s a dream job, head of the mathematics department with the opportunity to create her own programs and curriculums.

During the interview, Rachel fell in love with the school and felt welcomed by the staff. Whether she wants the job isn’t the issue, it’s whether she can make it work.

How are excessive commutes hindering Americans’ quality of life? 

Commuting to San Francisco from her home is out of the question. A two-hour commute would mean having to leave home before 5:00 a.m. and moving closer, perhaps to Oakland, still results in a commute exceeding an hour.

If, in general, women with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn less than Rachel, how does the picture of independent living look for an average woman? 

Despite earning more than the median weekly income of $1,049 for women with a bachelor’s degree or higher, Rachel’s salary doesn’t go very far in the City by the Bay. In fact, after rent, Sam’s preschool tuition is more than all her other bills combined.

To finish the article, please visit, http://www.nawrb.com/magazine/.

Teachers Are Having Difficulty Affording Housing

The home prices residents in hot housing markets, like Silicon Valley, must accommodate are staggering: the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the greater San Jose metro area is $3,295 a month, according to Zillow; in San Francisco it’s $4,550 a month and Oakland $2,500 a month.

These skyrocketing figures have been a particular burden for teachers, whose salaries—despite being $13,000 higher in California than the national average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics—have not kept up with the increasing costs of living.

A recent article from CityLab reveals that the consequences of high prices trickle down from teachers to the community. As residents struggle to afford housing, school districts in expensive cities are experiencing difficulty attracting talent from the rest of the country.

It is essential to consider and act on the effects that costly housing markets have on residents. In the case of California educators, solutions like teacher-only housing have provided some relief, but many of these initiatives lack community support.

The article goes on to articulate, “About 21 percent of people who have jobs in Silicon Valley live outside of the area, and about 5 percent endure mega-commutes of more than 90 minutes one-way, according to the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, whose 2016 report was not job-specific.”

What is going to be done to help hardworking professionals who are being forced to endure excessive commutes, move back in with their parents and even couch surf? What will be the response to their deteriorating quality of life?

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