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Liana Silva, a public school teacher, had a running joke with friends during last year’s mayoral election: If she ever ran for the position, her platform would focus on affordable housing for teachers.

“I feel like it should move beyond the joke stage and a candidate should officially take it up,” she said this week during her lunch break at Cesar Chavez High School, where she teachers 12th grade English. “Housing is getting more and more expensive.”

Silva, a single mom who lives with her fourth-grade daughter at friend’s house in the greater East End, is among the countless Houstonians who struggle to find housing they can afford. These include public school teachers, hospital workers and early-career police officers and firefighters who make too much to qualify for rental assistance but not enough to afford apartments or homes without roommates or in neighborhoods near their jobs.

Houston’s struggles with housing affordability worsened as the city’s economy boomed in the years following great recession. But its problems have been overshadowed by those of higher-priced markets where the affordability crisis has become so acute that major employers are grappling with their role in finding a solution.

Publication: Houston Chronicle

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