Tulsa Public Schools To Offer Teachers Home Buying Incentive

Friday, March 4th 2016, 1:50 pm

There's a new incentive for teachers to work for Tulsa Public Schools and teach in a particular neighborhood - where they live.

Empty lots will soon be filled with houses and teachers will be living in them, some of whom work down the street at Kendall-Whittier Elementary.
It's the first time an opportunity like this has been offered to Tulsa teachers.

The program offers the chance to buy a new house, discounted by $8,000, in exchange for living in the neighborhood and teaching in neighborhood schools.

The program is through Growing Together, a charity that works specifically around Kendall-Whittier.

"We want to create a vibrant community. And if we're going to incentivize people to come into this community, let's do it for teachers who have a heart for the community and what we're trying to build here in the future," said Kirk Wester with Growing Together.

Capital Homes owner, David Charney, said his company wanted to support the school district and, specifically, that neighborhood, already under a strong revitalization effort with homes built by Capital.

There are seven new home sites available, now, for teachers who commit to living there five years while teaching at Kendall Whittier, Sequoyah, Rogers Jr. or Rogers High School.

Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said while it's a shame teacher recruitment has become so centered on income, she's grateful philanthropy is helping TPS hold onto teachers.

“We're going to continue advocating to make sure teachers receive the salary that affords them the kind of professional lifestyle they deserve. But, in the meantime, we're grateful that Growing Together and Capitol Homes have come together to make these beautiful homes available to Tulsa teachers,” Gist said.

The home prices start at $160,000 and the incentive money is up front, closing costs and down payment money, to help teachers get into a new home.