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Housing and Community Services Department
Housing and Community Services Department

Affordable Housing Resources


The City of Berkeley works in partnership with non-profit and market-rate housing developers to provide a variety of affordable housing options for the Berkeley community. However, the City does not operate any housing, accept applications, track vacancies, or maintain waiting lists for any type of housing.  If you are interested in affordable housing in Berkeley, you must contact the property owners/managers directly.  


Many of the local affordable rental units are occupied due to high demand. Use the resources below for assistance locating units available now and waiting lists for future vacancies.  


Emergency Housing, Health and Social Services Hotline – Dial 211
• Free and accessible telephone number for all Alameda County residents
• Emergency housing, food, financial aid, healthcare, legal assistance & more
• Available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
• Use (888) 886-9660 for non-local calls.


Online Resources
Alameda County: To explore housing options and other services for Alameda County, visit 211’s website: www.achousingchoices.org  

Bay Area: For up-to-date affordable housing listings across the Bay Area, visit the One Home website: www.onehomebayarea.org  

Seniors: Alameda County Social Services - Subsidized Housing for Seniors


Steps to Find Affordable Housing
Step 1: Identify Your Housing Needs & Preferences

Berkeley provides a variety of affordable housing options, but the need for affordable housing is much greater than the supply throughout the Bay Area. See "Affordable Housing Options in Berkeley" below for local options.

Non-profit affordable housing is often targeted to certain populations:
• Senior: Minimum age requirements are either 55 or 62, depending on the development. Children are usually not allowed, but live-in aides may be.
• Special Needs: You must have a documented mental, physical or developmental disability.
• Family: You may be a single parent with children, a two-parent family with or without children, or two or more individuals.
• Transitional or supportive: Housing for people emerging from homelessness or in need of special services.

 

Step 2: Check to See if Your Income Qualifies 

Percentages of Area Median Income (AMI) are frequently used to determine eligibility for affordable projects. The area median income is the household income for the median -- or middle -- household in a region. Typically, to be eligible, your income must be less than 30%-80% of the AMI for your size household, depending on the property.  For example, the chart below offers a guide to AMI for a one person or four person household. Each project’s affordability requirements are based on unique, complex criteria - only a property manager can determine your eligibility.  If you think your income may qualify you, submit an application to find out for sure.

2018 Sample Income Limits  

Household Size

30% AMI

50% AMI

80% AMI

One Person

$24,400

$40,700

$62,750

Four Person

$34,850

$58,100

$89,600

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

Consider connecting with community resources to help you with a credit check, security deposit, and budgeting to prepare for applying. 

Here are some resources to start:

http://ebho.org/
https://www.moneymanagement.org/
https://uwba.org/sparkpoint/

 

Step 3: Contact Properties and/or Managers and Apply
• Contact as many organizations and agencies to increase your chances of finding an affordable home. 
• Visit websites and call properties to inquire about vacancies or joining a waitlist (contact information available below).
• Use resources listed above to explore the variety of housing options available across Alameda County and the greater Bay Area.
• Once you’ve submitted your applications or joined a waitlist, let each property know if you move or change your phone number. Ask about the best way to keep in contact.
• Be prepared to provide financial and family information and your housing history. 

Apply to as many affordable housing properties as you can, even if there is a long waiting list.  You will probably need to spend time waiting on waiting list.  Be persistent and don’t get discouraged!



Affordable Housing Options in Berkeley


Homeless/Emergency Housing

Please call the 211 telephone service and inform staff of your current situation. Staff will connect you with appropriate resources.

 

Non-profit/Income Subsidized Units

Non-profit affordable housing developments offer well-designed and professionally-managed homes with restricted rents and varying eligibility requirements. The list below includes only non-profit agencies that own and operate four or more buildings in Berkeley. East Bay Housing Organizations maintains a list of affordable housing developers and service providers operating throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

 AGENCY 

PHONE 

WEBSITE 

Resources for Community Development

(510) 841-4410

http://rcdev.org

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates

(510) 647-0700

http://sahahomes.org

Northern California Land Trust

(510) 548-7878

http://nclt.org/

Related California Berkeley 75 (scattered site apartments)

(415) 677-9000

Berkeley Properties


Below Market Rate (BMR) Units

The City’s BMR program provides designated affordable units within market-rate apartment buildings for households that meet specific income criteria. Rents are set at fixed “below market” rates based on unit size to ensure affordability. The City facilitates the creation of BMR units during the development process, and does not track vacancies or maintain active waiting lists. Please contact property owners directly to inquire about vacancies and waiting lists. More information, including contacts for each apartment building, is available below.

BMR Tenant FAQ
BMR Property Profile and Contact Information -- Updated August 2018   

 

Berkeley Housing Authority/Section 8
The Berkeley Housing Authority is an independent organization that provides rental assistance via Section 8 vouchers and the Moderate Rehabilitation Program. Please contact them directly for more information, including potential waitlist options.
(510) 981-5470
bha@cityofberkeley.info
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/bha/  

 

More information

If you have additional questions regarding affordable housing, please contact us at (510) 981-5304 or AffordableHousing@cityofberkeley.info.

Download the Affordable Housing Resources brochure

 Affordable Housing Brochure image 

 

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Housing and Community Services Department, 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: HHCS@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-5400
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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