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Orinda Union School District Partners with Landed to Help Educators Purchase Homes
Posted 4/4/18

March 28, 2018

The Orinda Union School District (OUSD) Board of Trustees recognizes that attracting and retaining the most talented teachers, staff, and administrators is of utmost importance to maintaining educational excellence. Unfortunately, limited state funding for OUSD teacher and other employee salaries has not kept pace with the cost of living in, or commuting to, Orinda. 

At their recent March meeting, the OUSD Board approved a resolution to partner with Landed, a San Francisco-based startup that helps school personnel purchase homes through a down payment assistance program. The program provides half of the down payment on a home, up to $120,000 per household, in exchange for a portion of the gain or loss in the value of the home when the home is sold. Landed’s down payment support will be available to all teachers, administrators, and staff who have worked for Orinda Union School District for at least two years and can contribute their own 10% down payment. 

“Orinda is one of least affordable cities in the Bay Area,” noted Orinda Union School District Board President Carol Brown. “Without innovative solutions like Landed, most of our educators cannot afford to live in or near our community. We believe Landed will be a valuable tool to improve district retention by providing educators with a pathway to home ownership.” 

OUSD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton added, “Orinda Union School District receives among the lowest per pupil state funding of all public school districts in California. Consequently, it is challenging to offer competitive salaries for our teachers and other employees. Fortunately, Landed offers an opportunity to provide Orinda teachers and staff with assistance for a down payment on a home at no cost to the district.” 

Last year, Landed received a $5 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help educators in three public school districts on the Peninsula buy homes. Thanks to subsequent partnerships with large foundations, Landed has established the U.S. Educator Housing Fund to bring down payment support to educators in expensive cities around the country. Since its founding in 2015, Landed has already helped over forty educators purchase homes in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and other cities across California. 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the Orinda Union School District,” said Landed Head of Engagement Nikki Lowy. “We believe in upholding the essential professionals who uphold all of us. While we recognize that Landed is just one of many solutions needed to address the housing crisis in the East Bay, we’re excited to offer a new tool to help Orinda educators live in or near the beautiful community they serve.”

An informational session will be held with Orinda Union School District employees in April. In the interim, interested OUSD educators can apply for Landed support today at 


About the Orinda Union School District 
Orinda Union School District is one of the highest performing school districts in the State of California. Orinda USD serves approximately 2,500 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade at five school campuses— four elementary schools and one middle school. Three Orinda USD elementary schools have been honored as 2018 California Distinguished Schools: Del Rey, Glorietta, and Wagner Ranch. Orinda Intermediate School was named a California Gold Ribbon School in 2015. Del Rey Elementary School earned National Blue Ribbon School status in 2015. All five Orinda USD schools have been honored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as California Honor Roll Schools based on student achievement data. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers and staff, Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and strong community partnerships as evidenced by the support provided by Parent Clubs, the Educational Foundation of Orinda, and the City of Orinda. More information about Orinda USD is available at

About Landed 
Landed is on a mission to help essential professionals, starting with educators, build financial security near the communities they serve. One of the ways we do this is by investing equity alongside educators when they are ready to buy a home. We call this shared equity down payment assistance. Here's how it works. Recent news coverage about Landed can be found in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, and in the San Jose Mercury News. Helping great educators become homeowners keeps them in the classroom and improves student outcomes. That's why Landed is financially supported by great organizations like the DRK Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. More information about Landed is available at