Resources

Senior residents at Eden Housing’s Eden Issei Terrace in Hayward. Photo by Alain McLaughlin, courtesy of Eden Housing

 

Affordable Housing 101

What is Affordable Housing?

A home is generally considered affordable if the household pays 30% or less of their gross income (before taxes are taken out) towards rent/mortgage payments. The term usually refers to homes affordable to people with low, very low and extremely low income, including low-wage working families, seniors on fixed incomes, veterans, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness.

 

There are different kinds of affordable homes, including public housing (owned by the local housing authority), Section 8 vouchers that help people rent privately owned homes, and privately owned housing developments with restricted rents. In the Bay Area, many affordable homes are built and managed by nonprofit organizations.

 

As an example, if your household income is $60,000 a year, affordable housing would mean you pay no more than $1,500 monthly for your mortgage or rent and utilities. If you are in a sales job, making $12.00 an hour, affordable rent would be paying no more than $624 dollars a month in rent and utilities.

 

For more industry definitions, check out our Affordable Housing Glossary.

 

Find Affordable Housing in Your Area

 

  • Read through the April 2015 San Francisco Housing Resource Guide – an excellent resource including housing rights and legal resources, resources for individuals experiencing homelessness, resources for veterans, the elderly, families, youth, individuals with disabilities and additional insight.

 

  • Visit HUD’s online search page and use their search function to look for federally funded affordable housing in your area. You must contact the individual housing developers and developments on the list generated by your search for information about available units or to get on their waiting lists.

 

  • Check out Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco’s monthly housing opportunities list. Click here for the latest monthly report Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties. Click here for all other Bay Area counties.

 

  • Call Helplink at 1-800-273-6222.

 

  • Download our guide for searching for affordable housing and a list of state funded affordable housing by California counties. You must contact the individual housing developments on the list about available units or to get on their waiting lists.

 

Seeking help with a housing issue? Bay Area Legal Aid’s housing division provides legal assistance in the following areas, subject to the available legal resources in each county or office:

 

  • Public, Subsidized and Private Housing
  • Residential Hotels
  • Housing Conditions
  • Rent Control
  • Eviction Defense
  • Lock-outs and Utility Shut-offs
  • Fair Housing
  • Housing Discrimination
  • Training Advocates and Community Organizations

 

 

Click here to get a contact list by county for Bay Area Legal Aid’s Advice Hotline.

Seeking help with a legal issue?

Bay Area Legal Aid’s housing division provides legal assistance in the following areas, subject to the available legal resources in each county or office:

 

  • Public, Subsidized and Private Housing
  • Residential Hotels
  • Housing Conditions
  • Rent Control
  • Eviction Defense
  • Lock-outs and Utility Shut-offs
  • Fair Housing
  • Housing Discrimination
  • Training Advocates and Community Organizations

 

Click here to get a contact list by county for Bay Area Legal Aid’s Advice Hotline.

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