Santa Monica Housing Office - Below Market Housing
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.
APPLY TO THE BMH WAITLIST
Who can apply?
To be eligible for the BMH waitlist, applicants' total household income, before taxes, must not exceed the amounts listed below (effective May 1, 2022):
- 1-person household: $83,400;
- 2-person household: $95,300;
- 3-person household: $107,200;
- 4-person household: $119,100;
- 5-person household: $128,700
The waitlist is open to everyone who meets the income requirements, and priority is given to households that live or work in Santa Monica. To receive this priority, the head of household must:
- Live in Santa Monica;
- Work in Santa Monica at least 25 hours per week;
- 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.
What do I need to apply?
You will need:
- A valid email address
- 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.
How do I apply?
Please follow the steps in this guide to apply to the waitlist.
How do I check my waitlist status?
To check your status for the BMH program, please log into your account (there should be a link in your email confirmation; it's the same website where you applied) and go to Step 3 to check your status on the waitlist.
When will I know if I got selected?
When an owner of an affordable housing property has a vacancy, they request applicants from the BMH waitlist. We then pull applications from the top of the waitlist based on priority, household size, and income. 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:
First priority –
- 1A) 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
- 1B) Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) issued by Santa Monica Housing Authority
- 1C) Historically Displaced Households Pilot - Approved applicants
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 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.
Third priority – by the date and time that the application is submitted.
What is a strike?
Waitlist applicants must abide by a “strike” policy to continue participation in the BMH waitlist. If an applicant receives five (5) strikes, they will be removed from the BMH waitlist and must reapply. Therefore, it is important to understand what will and will not result in a strike. The City has discretion on whether an applicant remains on the waitlist.
You will not get a strike if:
- You were not referred to an apartment, not contacted, or did not meet building/credit requirements.
- You were emailed about a vacancy but are not interested AND provided a reason as why (also called “opting out” of the vacancy).
You will receive a strike if:
- You were emailed about a vacancy and opted in but did not:
- Respond to the property manager when they contacted you
- Show up to your appointment
- You declined the apartment after it was offered to you
- Your actual income was calculated by the property owner to be too high or low to meet the eligibility requirements of the apartment, which means your application is not up-to-date or accurate
- Your household size does not fit the apartment because your application is not up-to-date or accurate
How can I learn more about improving my credit history?
Los Angeles County Consumer & Business Affairs Center for Financial Empowerment offers resources for consumers interested in credit counseling and other financial empowerment strategies - click here to visit their website.
Community Corporation of Santa Monica
The City of Santa Monica is partnering with Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a non-profit organization that restores, builds, and manages affordable housing, to provide one streamlined list for affordable housing. The BMH program incorporates what was formerly known as the AHPP program as well as Community Corporation's portfolio of vacancies. If you are applying for one of Community Corp’s studio apartments and meet the criteria, you will be contacted by a member of Community Corp’s leasing team.
APPLY TO THE BMH WAITLIST