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Municipal Employees: Housing Market Could Catch Fire, Literally

There was an interesting article in the LA Times today Firefighters Are Priced Out of the City They Protect [1] about how firefighters have 90 minute commutes or more because they have been priced out of the markets they serve. In Montecito, California, adjacent to Santa Barbara, a 2nd year firefighter makes $75,000 per year while the average home prices are $2,300,000 and rents are too high to be affordable.

The same goes for teachers, police, ems, postal workers, prison guards and others in many communities. They simply can’t afford to live in the towns they serve [WaPo] [2].

The is a nationwide problem that was made worse by the housing boom. Its been an issue for years as evidenced by this article written in 2000 in Realty Times [3].

One quirk, admittedly insignificant, relating to this issue indirectly that my family has experienced first hand. In my home town in Connecticut, many of the teachers live 45-60 minutes away. My kids will have snow days when there is no snow or very little accumulation since many of the teachers live further inland away from Long Island Sound and often get significantly more snowfall than areas on the coast.