The County of San Mateo’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Program fulfills several key affordable home ownership objectives:

  • Increases purchase capacity for low to moderate-income, homebuyers that either live and/or work in the County of San Mateo;
  • Creates a mechanism which adds permanent affordable housing in unincorporated San Mateo County;
  • Provides the resources and support to assist residents and individuals who work in the County to fulfill their dream of home ownership.

What is a BMR?

A BMR unit is a housing unit that is priced to be affordable to households that are moderate income or below. These housing units are often built by local government, non-profits, or as a requirement of the developer (Inclusionary Affordable Housing Ordinance).

How the Program Works

The County of San Mateo Below Market Rate (BMR) Program has been created to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income persons living or working in San Mateo County. The program requires that all interested parties complete and submit an application. Eligible participants will then participate in a lottery to determine who will be allowed to move forward with the purchase of the property. If the selected applicant does not purchase the property, the County will select another applicant based upon the list of lottery participants.

Eligibility Requirements

  • All applicants must include a Pre-Approval Letter from a lender
  • All applicants must either live and/or work in San Mateo County
    • Primary residence is San Mateo County for a minimum of one year, continuously.
    • Work in San Mateo County a minimum of one year over the last two years. 20 hours per week, minimum average, over the course of the qualifying year.
  • Income Eligibility
    • In order to qualify to purchase a BMR home, the buyer must meet the following income requirement. San Mateo County Income limits for 2020 (80 percent Area Median Income):
      • 1-person household: $97,600
      • 2-person household: $111,550
      • 3-person household: $125,500
  • Applicant must not have owned any real property in the last three calendar years.
  • Applicant’s Household Composition must not exceed State limits: 3-persons for 2-bedroom unit, 4 persons for 3-bedroom unit.
  • Applicant must be able to show mortgage readiness, including having a minimum of 3 percent down-payment.

Lottery Applicant Priority

Anyone who meets the income criteria and can qualify for financing may participate in the County managed Lottery process to purchase a BMR home. However, the lottery will be weighted to give priority to:

  • Residents living in unincorporated San Mateo County 
  • First-time homebuyers;
  • Section 8 Homebuyer Program participants.

Program Requirements

Please read the program requirements before submitting an application. Please see the attached “Program Description” document.

Available Unit (s)

-No Available Units At This Time-

Questions about the Program

Nila Kim, HCD Specialist
nhkim@smchousing.org
(650) 802-5002