Below-Market-Rate Home Ownership

EPACANDO Administers the City’s Ownership Below-Market-Rate (BMR) Program

Contact us: BMR@epacando.org,       Program manager: Jane Jones 650 473-9838 x 3    2369 University Ave, East Palo Alto 94303

[City of East Palo Alto’s] Ownership BMR Program

More than 60 East Palo Alto families own “BMR homes,” made possible by the City’s BMR program, which for decades has required developers of new for-sale housing to sell some of them at more affordable prices. Then  those homes remain affordable over time by restricting their resale price.

The program is sometimes called the “Ownership BMR Program” because the City’s program also includes many BMR apartments for rent.  Learn more: City of East Palo Alto Below Market Rate Housing Program

“Rental BMR” units are managed by the property management of the apartment complex they are in.  This includes the tenant selection process.  Property management must assure the City, by means of an annual report, that that rents for BMR units are maintained at an affordable level that is indexed to changes in the area’s median household income, rather than to market rents.

East Palo Alto’s below-market-rate homes are scattered among  most recent developments.

BMR INTEREST LIST

Sign up to receive notice of activity in the City of EPA's Ownership BMR program (administered by EPA CAN DO.)

Current Services for BMR Homeowners

Assuring the soundness of the community’s “portfolio” of BMR homes for current and future residents is in everyone’s best interest.  So annually, EPACANDO reaches out to all BMR homeowners to assure compliance with the program’s very basic rules about remodeling, refinancing and renting-out.

Since 2021 EPACANDO is adding more ways to inform current BMR homeowners, and address perennial questions:  What if our household size grows or shrinks?  What if we need to install accommodations for disabled family members? Can we rent out a room? How can we support the creation of more BMR homes in East Palo Alto?

 What if our household size grows or shrinks?

What if we need to install accommodations for a disabled family member?

Can we rent out a room?

How can we support the creation of more BMR homes in East Palo Alto?

Background

In 2003, EPACANDO received a contract from the City of East Palo Alto to administer the City’s “below-market-rate homeownership” program.  For many years the City required developers of for-sale housing to set aside a substantial number (typically 20%) of the new homes for purchase by qualified low-income buyers. EPACANDO helped buyers obtain the homes, then monitored the homebuyers for compliance with restrictions on refinancing, resale and subletting.  Later, as production of new for-sale homes in the city slowed—and therefore production of new BMR homes slowed—the City decided to operate the program using City staff.  However, beginning in 2019, EPACANDO is once again contracted to provide this service for the City.

Organizational Partners

EPACANDO works closely with City staff.  EPACANDO is also partnering with the Bay Area Affordable Homeownership Alliance, an experienced BMR program administrator serving five Bay Area cities and coordinating several hundred BMR refinances, sales and purchases each year.