The City of Santa Monica Housing Division’s mission is to create new housing opportunities, preserve existing affordable housing, and help residents keep their housing in Santa Monica. The Below Market Housing program offers housing opportunities for Santa Monica residents and workers for a range of family sizes and incomes.

What does Below Market Housing mean?

The Below Market Housing (BMH) program is for households that fall in the very low to moderate income range.
Rather than providing a rental subsidy, this program offers housing at a rent that is much lower than market rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must meet two main conditions:

1) Your total household income, before taxes, must not exceed the amounts listed below:

  • 1-person household: $94,700
  • 2-person household: $108,100
  • 3-person household: $121,700
  • 4-person household: $135,100
  • 5-person household: $146,000

Some households with income above the limits for the Section 8 program may be eligible for the BMH program.


2) The head of your household must:

  • Live in Santa Monica
  • Work in Santa Monica at least 25 hours per week (or did prior to March 1, 2020, but lost employment due to COVID-19-related reasons)
  • Participate in an approved job training program in Santa Monica; or
  • Last worked 25 hours per week or more in Santa Monica and is now receiving 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:*

  1. A valid email address
  2. 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.

*If you qualify as being “displaced” please complete this application AND e-mail

When Will I Know If I Got Selected?

When an owner of an affordable housing property has a vacancy, they request applicants from our BMH waitlist. We then pull applications from the top of the waitlist based on priority. If you qualify, we send your information to the property owner and the property owner will contact you directly.