Thank you to our Southeast Regional Hub partners at East Carolina University for sharing this incredible initiative that helps teachers plant their roots in the rural community through affordable housing! Projects like this combat the rural teacher shortage, building sustainable rural communities - a key component of RSC's mission. You can view the original article on WITN's website.
By Justin Lundy
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT
BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Community leaders here in the East are celebrating the beginning of more affordable housing for teachers.
A moment that’s been in the making since 2019. Bertie County leaders came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of a teacher housing complex in Windsor called ‘Dream Point Apartments.’
The State Employees Credit Union funded three out of the $4.1 million needed for this project off of Martin Luther King Drive.
Its purpose is to retain teachers in Bertie County and have them live close to where they work, for an affordable price.
Something Michael White, Director of Human Resources for Bertie County Schools, says is hard to find these days.
“Finding a house is a problem,” White said. “I had to stay with my parents for four months. Which as a 40-year-old is hard to do. So, as a college student who just graduated and needs a place to stay that is a hardship trying to find a place to stay.”
The principal of Bertie High School, William Peele, says some of his teachers drive as far as 40 minutes to get to work, and they’re preparing for five teachers to leave.
“It’s just a constant turnover until we can actually find a way to keep teachers here and housing is one of those areas that will attract teachers here,” Peele said.
According to project leaders, the complex will include three apartment buildings with eight units in each—for a total of 24 rooms. The cost is $800 a month.
Bertie County Board of Commissioners chair, Ron Wesson, hopes this is just the first of many affordable housing projects.
“All of that is a possibility and we’re going to grow,” Wesson said.
Though this future apartment complex will be mainly for teachers, it does have exceptions. Officials say it’ll be for other state employees in Bertie County too.
The apartments are expected to be finished in June 2024
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