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Local startup helping house Atlanta educators amid coronavirus pandemic

Sean Keenan

By Sean Keenan

An affordable housing-focused startup in Atlanta has partnered with the local school system to help teachers secure places to stay.

Last week, PadSplit, a company that helps homeowners chunk up their houses as affordable rental units, unveiled the collaboration with Atlanta Public Schools that will allow teachers to circumvent application fees and claim a first-week discount for the program.

The average rent for a two-bedroom dwelling in Atlanta has jumped to nearly $1,500 recently—a 65 percent uptick in the last 10 years, according to RentCafe.

Meanwhile, the average APS teacher’s salary has increased by just 5 percent, meaning many educators can’t afford to live close to the schools at which they work.

“Even though this partnership was established prior to the COVID-19 crisis, our collaboration is even more timely now as many community servants are worried about their income and ability to save for their future,” Atticus LeBlanc, founder and CEO of PadSplit, said in a statement.

Today, less than 30 percent of APS teachers, and even fewer are able to live in the zones in which they teach, APS officials have said.

And once the coronavirus pandemic passes—and schools reopen—many of those teachers could be again stuck slogging through heavy congestion to get to work.

In addition to offering closer proximity to intown Atlanta, PadSplit units come furnished, with private bedrooms, fixed utility costs—including gas, power, water, and Internet—as well as access to services such as 24/7 telemedicine, credit reporting, and job staffing for people who need it.

(Header image, via PadSplit: An example of a PadSplit unit.)

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