Below Market Rate Housing

The Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Purchase Program is a part of the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of this program is to create and retain a stock of affordable housing in Palo Alto for people of low and moderate income.

When a development of five or more residential units is built in the City of Palo Alto, the developer is required to contribute at least 15% of those units at below market rates (projects of 7 or more units must provide one or more BMR units within the development). The initial BMR sales prices are set by the City's Director of Planning and Community Environment, and the buyer selection process is administered by the Palo Alto Housing Corporation (PAHC). PAHC is a private, non-profit organization under contract to the City. For additional information or to complete the waiting list application, please click the link for the PAHC website.

Last Updated: May 10, 2016
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Regulations Update
The City of Palo Alto wants to hear from you about potential updates to its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations. We are in process of revising those regulations in response to Council direction and new State laws regarding ADUs. [more]

Housing Element Update 2015 - 2023
The City completed and adopted the 2015-2023 Housing Element on November 10, 2014. The California Department of Housing and community Development certified the City's Housing Element on January 20, 2015. The 2015-2023 Housing Element is the chief policy document describing the City's housing needs, policies and programs.
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City of Palo Alto Affordable Housing Fund
The Affordable Housing Fund was established by the City Council of the City of Palo Alto to provide financial assistance for the development of affordable housing
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2014 Notice of Funding Availability
The City of Palo Alto is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Availability for affordable housing. Up to $6 million is available for new affordable rental and ownership housing. A complete description of the NOFA process is provided in the NOFA application package. The NOFA Application Workshop will be held on June 5, 2014, starting at 10am, in the City Council Conference Room, 1st Floor of City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.
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Below Market Rate (BMR) Information For Housing Developers
Housing Element Adopted By City Council On 12/2/02 For Below Market Rate Program and Other Related Programs
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Standards for BMR Units
The City has developed general standards for BMR Units
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Sales Procedures for New Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Units
This information is intended primarily for housing developers and others interested in an overview of the buyer selection and sales process.
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Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Purchase Program
The BMR Housing Purchase Program is a part of the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan
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Below Market Rate Housing
Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing information
2014 City of Palo Alto Notice of Funding Availability Application
Revision Date: 5/21/2014
Distribution of Units Between Price Categories
Revision Date: 9/15/2008
This report contains analyses to support the City of Palo Alto’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Program Update. The City had solicited the services of housing and economic consultants with experience in inclusionary housing programs, affordable housing program administration, real estate finance and market economics to provide independent and objective analyses and recommendations on specific questions and issues to serve as input to the City’s BMR Program.
Revision Date: 7/30/2007
Rental Housing Units as of July 2008
Revision Date: 9/15/2008
Subsidized Rental Housing Developments
Revision Date: 9/15/2008
City of Palo Alto BMR Homeownership Units (including units in development)
Revision Date: 9/15/2008
The City updates the BMR prices annually. The new prices for 2008 are effective as of March 31, 2008 and apply to BMR units in projects receiving final planning entitlement approvals
Revision Date: 9/15/2008