Priority for affordable housing lotteries will be given to households displaced from Berkeley due to BART construction, foreclosure, or eviction; as well as those who have connections to redlined neighborhoods, are homeless or at risk of homelessness, or have a child 17 years old or younger.
We’re helping get the word out about recently announced affordable housing preferences that give people who were displaced or are at risk of displacement in Berkeley priority when new units become available. You can get priority in affordable housing lotteries under one or more of the preferences. Your household can receive priority as long as at least one member of the household is eligible.
These policies will apply to a portion of new affordable housing units created through the City’s Housing Trust Fund and Below Market Rate programs, which covers all new affordable rental construction in Berkeley. These programs are overseen by the Health, Housing, and Community Services Department.
HOUSING PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
The following housing preferences will be available for new affordable housing applications:
- Displaced due to BART construction: You, your parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent lost their home due to construction of BART in the 1960s-1970s in Berkeley.
- Displaced due to foreclosure: You or a member of your household was displaced due to foreclosure in Berkeley since 2005.
- Displaced due to eviction: You or a member of your household was displaced due to a no-fault or non-payment eviction in Berkeley within the past seven years.
- Families with children: Your household has at least one child aged 17 or under.
- Homeless or at-risk of homelessness:
- You are homeless in Berkeley, or homeless with a previous address in Berkeley, and are not already being prioritized for Permanent Supportive Housing (housing with supportive services to help homeless and disabled households achieve stability).
- You are at risk of homelessness in Berkeley (for example, you’re staying with friends or family, at a motel or hospital, or you’ve received an eviction notice or will imminently lose your housing).
- Current or former resident of redlined neighborhood: You are a current or former resident of a formerly redlined neighborhood in Berkeley.
- Parent or grandparent lived in redlined neighborhood: Your parent or grandparent lives or lived in a formerly redlined neighborhood in Berkeley.
CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PREFERENCES
The City’s Apply for Affordable Housing Preferences webpage has information on each preference and a step-by-step guide to the application process. If you qualify for the BART displacement or foreclosure preferences, you should apply for a certificate to verify your eligibility as soon as possible. Other preferences are verified during the housing application process. If selected for housing, you will need to provide additional information to verify your eligibility.
Qualifying for a preference does not guarantee you an affordable housing unit. After you apply for affordable housing, the property manager will use a random lottery to order applicants on a waitlist. For units with preferences, they will then sort the list by preference ranking.
Applicants with a BART Displacement Preference Certificate will receive first priority. Other applicants will be sorted by their total number of preference points.
FINDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
For the two preference categories that require a certificate – a BART Displacement Certificate or a Foreclosure Displacement Certificate – apply now to help speed up a future application for affordable housing.
The first affordable housing building in Berkeley to apply the affordable housing preferences is the Maudelle Miller Shirek Community. This 86-unit building is in the heart of South Berkeley near Ashby BART. The applications for the Maudelle Miller Shirek Community are currently open until February 12 at 5:00PM on the Alameda County Housing Portal.
To learn more about the affordable housing preferences and the Maudelle Miller Shirek Community, register for an online info session on Wednesday, January 31 at 7:00 PM.
Contact the City’s Health, Housing, and Community Services Department at: HousingPreferences@berkeleyca.gov