NC Education Groups Developing Apartments in Effort to Recruit, Retain Teachers

Education groups are building apartments in an effort to provide affordable housing for teachers:

The Partners for Hoke County Public Schools Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization, plans to build a $2.4 million housing complex on 8.5 acres on Teal Street.

The 24-unit, two-bedroom apartment complex is expected to be completed in early July. The complex will be open to current and new teachers.

The complex, called Echo Ridge, has been in the making for three years. The project came about during discussions among advisory board members for the State Employees’ Credit Union branch in Raeford. Members were concerned about the growing number of teachers who were leaving the school system to teach in the counties where they lived…

The cost of rental property in the Outer Banks and Cape Hatteras was a factor in recruiting and retaining teachers. Teachers came in with a preconceived notion that it would be too expensive to live in the area, said Trip Hobbs, personnel director at Dare County schools.

The Dare County Education Foundation, SECU Foundation and the Dare County Board of Education worked together to build 24 rental units in Kill Devil Hills. The $2.4 million apartment complex opened in August 2008. A 12-unit apartment complex was built in 2011 to address housing needs in Buxton. The cost of that rental property was $1.6 million.

School officials had been studying the housing dilemma since 2000, Hobbs said. A survey of teachers showed the average cost of rent was $1,200 a month. Teachers pay $750 a month to live in the foundation-owned apartment complexes.