HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — An anonymous donor has pledged funding to pay for down payments to provide affordable living options to Holland Public Schools teachers.

The program, called Teachers Live Here, will provide $25,000 each for 10 teachers a year. To qualify, teachers must be pre-approved for a traditional mortgage, commit to an additional five years of teaching within the district and have an annual income of less than $100,000.

“Our staff did everything in its power to keep our doors open through COVID,” district Superintendent Nick Cassidy said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

He said teachers covered additional classes, substitute taught for others and went above and beyond for the community. That’s why, he said, it’s important “for them to have the opportunity to live in the community where they serve.”

As home prices continue to climb, many Holland teachers have been priced out of the market.

“A lot of people want to live here and that has made housing expensive,” Mayor Nathan Bocks said. “In some cases, too expensive for people who want to do one of the most important jobs that there is: teaching children.”

The program’s first recipient, first grade bilingual teacher Lillian Snoeyink, was awarded a $25,000 check.

Teachers who want to relocate to the Holland Public Schools attendance zone will be given special consideration. The money cannot be used retroactively or to refinance.