Rental Assistance To Struggling Teachers, Staff, On The Way

Blaine County School District

A million-dollar school board program to ease the pain of housing costs in the Valley could spell relief for roughly three out of 10 school district employees. 

Blaine County School District trustees unanimously approved the plan last week after a special committee was quickly assembled to do something to make it easier to recruit and keep employees. It could put $500 a month ($6,000 a year) in the pockets of BCSD employees to go toward paying rent.

Of course, there will be some paperwork hoops to jump through first. Employees will have to document an “adjusted” monthly income, which takes into account other household income and additional expenses like daycare and student loans. Employees will also need to submit rent and utility bill information that allows the district to determine one’s “housing burden”—a benchmark that’s met when an employee is using 30% or more of their paycheck to cover rent and utilities. 

The district said priority will be given to employees with less than three years in the district since they tend to be at lower pay grades and since the shortage of housing in the Valley is making it hard to recruit new talent.