By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As the cost of living continues to rise across the Southland, the Los Angeles Unified School District Wednesday announced a new initiative to provide affordable housing options for its teachers.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia hold a news conference on June 9, 2021. (CBSLA)

The effort is designed to create 2,000 affordable housing units so that teachers can live in the neighborhoods where they work. It’s unclear how much the program would cost the district.

The initiative was announced by outgoing LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia in a news conference Wednesday morning at the Norwood Learning Village in the University Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles.

“What we’re gonna do is take the assets which the community has bestowed upon us, the 80-million square-feet of buildings, the many thousands of acres of land, and put it to use to serve the community,” Beutner said.

Many LAUSD staffers have commutes of more than two hours each way, Beutner added.

LAUSD noted that it was previously successful at working with developers to build three affordable housing developments for district employees, one of which is the Norwood Learning Village, located near Norwood Street Elementary School. The other two were the Sage Park Apartments near Gardena High School, and Selma Community Housing, near Selma Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood.

LAUSD, the second largest school district in the nation, has over 600,000 students and 75,000 staff.