The Coast News Group
The Grauer School will use millions in donations to help provide faculty housing. File photo
The Grauer School will use millions in donations to help provide faculty housing. File photo

The Grauer School in Encinitas to provide faculty housing

ENCINITAS — The Grauer School, an independent college preparatory school, is spending millions of donated funds to provide housing for new faculty members.

An alarming number of teachers cannot find housing near their schools each year, contributing to a well-documented exodus from the profession.

In response, The Grauer School recently announced the development of faculty housing following a $4.5 million donation from the Fred B. Luddy Family Foundation. The school will use the funds and its recently purchased site half a block away, including three dwelling units and room for three additional units, to provide affordable housing for faculty members.

“Our original plan was to develop a gymnasium, but after several months of research, as much as we’d love a gym, we realized housing is the right move for our current times,” said school founder Stuart Grauer.

Grauer noted that Encinitas, like many other California cities, is currently experiencing a shortage in housing.

“Our most recent hires almost backed out of our job offers due to trouble finding housing in the area,” Grauer said. “In this new world, there is no easy way newly-hired teachers can live even two towns away based on apartment prices.”

The housing crisis in Southern California has reached such proportions that the city of Encinitas was issued a warning by the state attorney general in March 2022 for violating state law for not approving a housing project amid a statewide housing crisis.

In early 2023, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) launched the “Dream for All” loan assistance program in which first-time homebuyers would receive assistance with their 20% down payment, but the down payment program was paused 11 days after launch due to the $300 million in funds running out.

“Offering newly-hired teachers housing next to the school, around the corner from the beach and at prices well below market value will be an enormous draw for teachers all over our housing-crunched country,” Grauer said. “We believe this is the right thing for schools to be doing at this point, as we attract the best and brightest into the amazing field of teaching.”

The initial faculty housing will include three separate dwellings, including a three-bedroom apartment of approximately 1,600 square feet, a two-bedroom apartment of approximately 600 square feet, and a one-bedroom apartment of roughly 500 square feet. The entire compound is approximately one and one-quarter acres, and landscaping plans are also being implemented.

A long-range sustainability endowment gift of $300,000 has been established to maintain the property for future generations. It is expected to be ready for move-in near the beginning of 2024.

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