Below Market Rate Housing Program (BMR)

What is a BMR unit?

The Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Program is intended to increase the supply of affordable housing in Menlo Park.  As part of the program, residential and commercial/industrial developers who build in the City of Menlo Park are required to contribute BMR housing units and/or BMR housing in-lieu fees. For more information on developer requirements, see BMR Requirements for Residential Developers or BMR Requirements for Commercial Developers

BMR units can be available for rent or purchase.  BMR sales prices and rents are based on what is affordable to households with low to moderate-incomes.  BMR units are usually part of market-rate developments and remain permanently affordable over time. 

Where are BMR units located?

BMR units can be apartments, condominiums, town-homes, or single-family homes.  There are presently 63 Below Market Rate housing units in Menlo Park, which are located throughout the city. 

Currently there is no BMR unit available for purchase at this time.

Currently, there is no BMR rental available at this time. If you would like to be on the waitlist, please contact Westlake Realty Group at (650) 579-1010 for more information.

Even if there are no BMR units available for rent or purchase, the City will continue to accept applications for the BMR waiting list.  When a BMR unit becomes available, the City BMR Contractor (PAHC) notifies people on the BMR waiting list whose names have been on it for the longest time.  These people are invited to submit formal applications to rent/purchase the unit and the eligible, qualified applicant who has been on the waiting list the longest is selected to occupy the unit.

All of Menlo Park's 63 BMR units are presently designated as ownership - rather than rental - units.  The City is currently considering proposals for additional BMR units.

Who is eligible to occupy a BMR unit?

BMR units are affordable to low and moderate-income households.  To be eligible, applicants (or a member of the applicant's household) must have lived or worked in Menlo Park for at least one year at the time of occupancyPlease note that to qualify as working in Menlo Park, the applicant's hours worked must average a minimum of 20 hours per week over the course of one year.

To be eligible for the BMR Housing Program, you must have a:

  • Gross annual household income that does not exceed HUD Low Income for San Mateo County in order to RENT (see the first column on the income limit chart)
  • Gross annual household income that does not exceed 110% of San Mateo County Area Median Income in order to PURCHASE (see the second column on the income limit chart)

How does the BMR Program work?

The City of Menlo Park contracted Palo Alto Housing Corporation (PAHC) to maintain a waiting list of persons interested in purchasing and/or renting a BMR unit.  To apply to be on the BMR waiting list, first read the BMR Housing Program Introduction then complete the BMR Waiting List Application.

To be eligible for the BMR waiting list you must: (1) currently live or work in Menlo Park and (2)  qualify by income (see chart above).  Note: you do not have to have lived or worked in Menlo Park for at least one year in order for your name to be placed on the waiting list.

Please return your completed BMR Waiting List Application to the PAHC Housing Services, LLC (see address below).  The BMR Housing Program Introduction is yours to keep.  Eligible applicants are notified by mail that their names have been placed on the waiting list.

BMR units become available for purchase or rent in one of two ways.  First, presently occupied BMR units are vacated from time-to-time; second, new residential developments in Menlo Park may produce additional BMR units. 

More about the BMR Program...

Want to know more or apply for the BMR Waiting List?

To request a BMR Waiting List Application or to learn more about the program, please call (650) 321-9709.  You may also print the application directly from this website and return it to the Palo Alto Housing Corporation (PAHC).  Mail your completed application to:

PAHC Housing Services, LLC
City of Menlo Park BMR Waitlist
725 Alma Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Current BMR Owners

If you would like more information on how to refinance your first mortgage, please contact Hello Housing by clicking on this website.


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