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Santa Monica Housing Division - Below Market Housing (BMH)



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To apply to the City of Santa Monica's Section 8 and Below Market Housing (BMH) waitlists, click here.

The City of Santa Monica’s Below Market Housing (BMH) program offers housing opportunities for Santa Monica residents and workers for a range of family sizes and incomes. Rather than providing a rental subsidy, this program offers apartments in the private sector at a rent that is lower than market rate. Households that meet the conditions listed below can apply for the BMH waitlist and will be contacted when apartments have vacancies that fit their income and household composition needs.

Who can apply?

How do I apply?

What do I need to apply?

When will I know if I got selected?

How do you choose who gets selected?


Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for the BMH waitlist, applicants must meet two conditions:

  1. Total household income, before taxes, must not exceed the amounts listed below (effective May 1, 2020):
    • 1-person household: $94,700;
    • 2-person household: $108,100;
    • 3-person household: $121,700;
    • 4-person household: $135,100;
    • 5-person household: $146,000
  2. Live or work in Santa Monica. The head of household must: 
    • Live in Santa Monica;
    • Work in Santa Monica at least 25 hours per week (or did prior to March 1, 2020, but lost employment due to COVID-19-related reasons);
    • Participate in an approved job training program in Santa Monica;
    • Have last worked at least 25 hours per week in Santa Monica and now receive unemployment, worker’s compensation, vocational rehabilitation benefits, disability benefits, or retirement benefits from the City of Santa Monica.


How do I apply?

The BMH waitlist will open May 1, 2020 at 8 a.m. Once open, applications will be accepted for the forseeable future. Apply here.

Reasonable Accommodation or Language Assistance: If you need to request a reasonable accommodation due to a disabling condition or language assistance in order to apply, please email smhousing@smgov.net or leave a message at (310) 458-8743. Staff will get back to you as soon as possible.


What do I need to apply?

You will need:

  1. A valid email address
  2. Documentation verifying your income and employment or residence in Santa Monica. Acceptable documents include tax forms, bank statements, paystubs, and documentation of any other income, assets, or benefits. You can upload pictures of the documents, but they need to be clearly readable.

When will I know if I got selected?

When an owner of an affordable housing property has a vacancy, they request applicants from our BMH waitlist. We then pull applications from the top of the waitlist based on priority. If you qualify, we send your information to the property owner and the property owner will contact you directly.


How do you choose who gets selected?

Applicants are split into three categories:

  1. First priority – Santa Monica households who have been or will be displaced from their homes within 12 months due to a natural disaster, a government ordered eviction, demolition of the building, owner/relative occupancy of your apartment, or eviction due to the Ellis Act or a Mobile Home closure.
  2. Second priority – All other households who either live in Santa Monica or work at least 25 hours per week in Santa Monica. This includes persons in job training programs with a Santa Monica employer; who lost their employment on or after March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19-related reasons; or who previously worked in Santa Monica and now receive retirement benefits, worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or vocational rehabilitation benefits from the City of Santa Monica.
  3. Third priority – by the date and time that the application is submitted.

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