Friday, October 05, 2007

UFT Village

The NY Times reports that Comptroller Bill Thompson and United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten announced yesterday that the city's Teachers’ Retirement System will provide $28 million dollars to finance low-cost housing for teachers and educators.

The New York City Housing Development Corporation will provide an additional $20 million in below-market loans to finance the housing project.

The 234 low-cost apartments for teachers and educators will be part of a larger housing development in the Bronx. Boricua College, a proprietary post-secondary school, will have its flagship campus in the development.

Monthly rents for the apartments will range from $806 for a studio to $1,412 for a three-bedroom apartment.

UFT president Randi Weingarten hailed the announcement of the low-cost teacher housing as a way to keep teachers from leaving the profession by providing them with affordable places to live:

“Teachers who work in the city want to stay in the city and want to live in the city,” Ms. Weingarten said yesterday. “They want to have families grow up in the city. They want to live in the communities in which they teach. That’s what they tell us all the time. This project is a way of doing that.”

There's one problem with Ms. Weingarten's solution - the Times says most UFT members won't actually qualify for the apartments because they make too much money:

To be eligible for a lottery for an apartment, applicants cannot earn more than 110 percent of the area median income, which is $76,000 for a family of four.

Many teachers will earn too much. Starting salaries are now $42,512.

The Times says charter school, private school and parochial school educators will also be eligible to apply for apartments in UFT Village or Weingarten Land or whatever the heck their calling this sham, but I suspect most of those folks won't get the opportunity to live there either.

Don't you get the feeling that the UFT leadership and Unity caucus cronies will write themselves a special "median income dispensation" to allow themselves to apply for the low-cost housing at UFT Village/Weingarten Land?

As soon as I saw this story this morning, the first thing I thought was, the Unity folks will be adding cheap three-bedroom apartments to the perks they already enjoy, like double pensions and plum after-school/summer jobs.

Which is just one more reason why I wouldn't want to live in UFT Village/Weingarten Land.

I just wish they weren't using my retirement funds to finance it.
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