Below Market Rate Homeownership for Moderate-Income Households

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From now until December 28th, families pursuing homeownership are invited to submit pre-applications for four brand new single-family homes in Oakland. These homes feature four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and are priced in the mid-500’s, below market rate. Three of the homes are located in West Oakland and one is located in the Fruitvale area. These homes are built by developer Silvermark Construction Services, which has also been actively involved in the rapid rebuilding of communities burned in the 2017 North Bay fires.
Eligible households must have at least four members and household incomes must not exceed 120% Area Median Income (AMI), based on household size (e.g. no more than $139,450 for a family of four). In addition, eligible homebuyers must be mortgage-ready with at least 3% of the purchase price for a down payment, in addition to closing costs. Down payment assistance funds from the City of Oakland or Alameda County may also be available to qualified households. Applicants will receive preference points if they live or work in Oakland, but all interested eligible households are welcome to apply.
Below Market Rate (BMR) homes are an important tool in our region’s affordable housing toolkit, especially for the “missing middle,” households with incomes too high to qualify for subsidized rental housing but too low to purchase a market rate home. In urban areas such as Oakland, “missing middle” households include educators, first responders, healthcare workers, public employees and transit workers – whom communities depend on to thrive.
Hello Housing President Mardie Oakes believes that affordable housing to all incomes, especially low- and moderate-income working households, is essential for healthy communities. “Some portion of the housing market has to be free from speculation to ensure there’s a place for the people who are supporting the economy to actually live.” According to Oakes, BMR homes balance affordability with the benefits of homeownership. “Owners benefit from a modest rate of appreciation that tracks with changes in their area’s median income. This way, the home remains comparably affordable to the next buyer and the owner benefits from building home equity.”
Interested and eligible homebuyers must submit a pre-application by December 28th to be considered for the lottery. For more information about these new homes and how to apply, visit Hello Housing or call at (415) 930-4112.
For updates about Alameda County’s AC Boost Down Payment Assistance Program, funded by the Measure A1 Affordable Housing Bond, sign up here.
For information about the City of Oakland’s Down Payment Assistance Programs, visit their website or call (510) 238-6201.

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