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Solving Vancouver's teacher shortage may include subsidized housing

(iStock Photo)

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.