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Solving Vancouver's teacher shortage may include subsidized housing

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Summary

Subsidized housing may attract more educators to the Lower Mainland amidst teacher shortage

BCTF ponders ways of hiring more teachers in Vancouver as affordable housing plays a possible factor

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Rent-controlled housing is being suggested as a creative way to recruit and retain teachers during Vancouver’s ongoing shortage.

Other proposals recommended by the BC Teachers’ Federation include forgiving student loans, waiving fees for retirees to re-certify and offering teachers in other districts cash to move here.


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Education Minister Rob Fleming says efforts are being made to build more affordable housing across the province.

“There have been school districts in other jurisdictions that have built employee housing. I don’t know whether Vancouver has that under consideration. In terms of government’s overall, we have a $7 billion, 10-year family housing and social housing initiative underway. It’s the largest in BC history. It’s not targeted to people based on profession. It’s based on where there’s a lack of affordable housing, where there’s an acute rental market housing crunch and where we can leverage densification for example with existing co-op or social housing and build more housing more cheaply, more quickly.”

Existing recruitment and retention problems have made it difficult to provide one-on-one time with kids who have special needs.

The BCTF is reporting nearly 700 classrooms have at least seven students needing support.

Earlier this month, the federation filed a grievance over the shortfall of educators in the province, saying the lack of teachers has created problems all year long and is threatening it spill over into September.