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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

AFFORDABLE UNITS AVAILABLE SOON! APPLY BY OCT. 31!
Apply for lottery with Property Manager

Berkeley, California (Thursday, October 17, 2019) - The URSA, located in downtown Berkeley, will be taking lottery applications for five affordable units created through the City's Below Market Rate program. Apply with the property manager, Everest Properties, starting October 17 through October 31, 2019.  

Given the high cost of construction and land, inclusionary units are a critical way to increase the amount of affordable housing units in the City.

Lottery applications due October 312019-10-17 Affordable units available soon!  Apply by Oct. 31!

The URSA, a new development located at 2124 Bancroft Way, features 50 residential units, with five units designated for Below Market Rate households - those making no more than $43,400 to $61,950 a year, depending on the unit type.

To be entered into the lottery, interested applicants must complete and submit a Pre-Application form by 5 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019.  Details on rent and the application process can be found on the URSA Berkeley website at ursaberkeley.com/bmr-faq.

The property manager will not accept applications after this deadline - there will be no exceptions. The lottery will be held on November 18, 2019. Being selected through the lottery does not guarantee that your rental application will be approved.  Your application must be reviewed for income documentation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements.

City policy makes these units possible

The Below Market Rate (BMR) units at the URSA were created through one of the many strategies the City uses to create affordable housing in Berkeley. 

Housing Trust Fund

BMR units in new rental projects such as URSA are the result of the City's Affordable Housing Mitigation fee, which requires that a fee be paid into the Housing Trust Fund for each unit in the project or that 20% of the units be made affordable to very low income households. For projects approved prior to June 27, 2017, such as the URSA, 10% of the total units are reserved for very low income households. 

Typically, landlords can set any rent when a tenant vacates, even for rent-controlled units. However, rents set by the City's Below-Market-Rent program are permanently set below market rate, regardless of turnover. (Rents created through this program do increase as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's established income thresholds increase.)   

Inclusionary requirements for condominiums

The City also has an inclusionary requirement for new ownership/condominium projects which requires that 20% of the total units be reserved for purchase by moderate income households.

Additional strategies to increase affordable housing supply

The City's Housing and Community Services Division does a number of things to create affordable housing, such as:

  • providing low-cost loans
  • connecting affordable housing developers to grant funding
  • creating new leases of City land
  • providing key City services to residents, and
  • executing legal agreements and assisting with other essential steps. 

To learn more about affordable housing resources in Berkeley, visit cityofberkeley.info/affordable. The City does not own or operate any housing.

For questions on the application process and lottery for the URSA, please contact the URSA Berkeley directly at bmr@ursaberkeley.com or call 510-842-7642 or visit ursaberkeley.com/bmr-faq/ .

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