Affordable housing is a fundamental
housing right. However,
finding affordable housing in the Bay Area can be difficult. The cost
of local housing is among the highest in the nation. This can make it
especially difficult for low-income Bay Area residents to find a suitable
place to live. Among the most vulnerable residents are families, seniors,
and people with disabilities.
Fortunately, there are a number
of affordable housing options in the Bay Area for residents who have difficulty
paying market-rate prices. The following are some of the various kinds
of affordable housing available in the Bay Area.
Housing Choice Vouchers:
The federal government distributes Housing Choice Vouchers to those residents
who have difficulty paying market-rate housing prices: low income individuals,
families, the elderly, and the disabled. To find out more about this program,
including eligibility requirements, check out the Public
Housing Fact Sheet.
To apply for Housing Choice Vouchers, contact your local Public Housing
Authority. (Contact information in the More Resources section.)
Another affordable housing option is Subsidized Housing. The federal government
subsidizes landlords who offer lowered rents to low income individuals,
families, seniors, and the disabled. This housing is available to residents
who meet certain income requirements. Residents must apply directly to
the management of the housing they are interested in.
A list of Subsidized Housing units is available on-line here
through the website of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Another option available to residents looking for affordable housing is
Public Housing. Public Housing developments are built and managed by local
Public Housing Authorities using federal funds. They are available to
low-income individuals and families, seniors, and renters with disabilities.
For more information on public housing and to see if you are eligible,
check out the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Public
Housing Program. Or contact your local Public Housing Authority.
(Contact information in the More Resources section.)
Tax Credit Housing and More:
Your city and county governments may also have lists of affordable housing
that they have developed or otherwise support. Call your city or county
for more information.
There are also non-profit developers that develop and manage properties
for low income tenants. A list of East Bay non-profit developers is available
on the East Bay Housing Organizations’ website.
While government-sponsored affordable housing can be a vital alternative
to market-rate housing, it comes with a number of restrictions and responsibilities...
Not everyone is eligible for all kinds of affordable housing. Each kind
of housing comes with its own criteria which applicants must meet.
Applicants and tenants of affordable housing must be prepared to divulge
personal information such as income.
Additionally, residents of affordable housing may be subject to periodic
inspections of their rental unit..
There may also be restrictions regarding citizenship and immigration status.
Local Public Housing Authorities:
Alameda County: (510) 538-8876
Contra Costa County: (925) 957-8019
Alameda: (510) 747-4300
Berkeley: (510) 981-5470
Livermore: (925) 447-3600
Oakland: (510) 874-1512
Pittsburg: (925) 252-4109
Richmond: (510) 621-1310
Eden Info Line:
Provides callers with information on affordable housing and social services
in Alameda county.
Free Market-Rate Rental Listings: