Nearly a third of teachers in metro Orlando struggle to afford housing, study says


  • Photo via Bart Everson/Flickr
Almost an entire third of teachers in metro Orlando who are the primary wage earners in their households are "cost burdened," a new study says.

Nearly 27 percent of teachers in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing or rent, rather than food, transportation, health care and other necessities, according to Apartment List, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and the Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

That hasn't always been the case. In 1990, only 14 percent of teachers were considered cost-burdened, as compared to 17 percent of college-educated professionals who didn't work in the education field, the study says.

But as recently as 2017, that changed. By then, 20 percent of teachers were considered cost-burdened, as compared to 16 percent of non-teachers. 

  • Graph via Apartment List
"As home prices and rents continue to rise, salaries for one of our most important professions have not kept pace in many parts of the country, creating a growing housing affordability crisis that has forced many teachers into financial hardship," the Apartment List study says. "This could have a tremendous impact on the future of the U.S. education system and highlights the disparities between teachers and those in non-teaching professions that have achieved similar levels of education."

Orlando currently ranks No. 5 among the nation's most "cost burdened," according to a report released last month by the government-sponsored mortgage lender Freddie Mac. The study found Miami to be the most rent-burdened city in the U.S., followed by San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and – drum roll – Orlando.

Two other Florida cities, Tampa and Jacksonville, came in at No. 7 and No. 25, respectively, on the metros list, too.

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