Housing information

In addition to housing provided by Charities Housing Development Corporation and House Sharing provided by Catholic Charities, there are many other non-profit housing providers in Santa Clara County and the Bay Area. The rental applications, screening for eligibility based on income and household composition, and selection of tenants at all affordable apartment buildings, regardless of who built them, owns, and manages them, are typically handled by the property managers at each apartment building; there are no central locations for submitting rental applications.

Also, note that most affordable apartment complexes in Santa Clara County and the Bay Area have lengthy waiting lists, most are not accepting applications, and none offer emergency housing placements. 


affordable housing websites


Do's for Housing Search:

 - Consistency, persistence, and 'sticktoitiveness' matter; maintain a positive attitude and believe there is an apartment waiting to be found.

 - Visit the properties in person and inquire about wait list applications directly from the property managers on site; phone calls and voice mails about the wait list and rental applications may not be a priority for them.

 - Pick-up every application available regardless of length of time you hear it will take to wait for an apartment; complete the paperwork and turn it in.

 - Keep track of every application completed and returned to the property managers; ask for a copy of the first page with the name of the apartment building on it and keep it in a folder.

 - Update your contact information whenever anything changes such as phone and address; do it at every site where you applied.  This will ensure management will be able to contact you when an apartment becomes available for you.  If they cannot find you easily, they will just move onto the next person on the list.

 - Consider properties and wait lists/applications even if out of Santa Clara County or not in the most desirable areas of town - cost of living is less in other areas.  Once you are in an affordable unit, you can look for or wait for a better or more convenient location to become available.

 Don'ts for Housing Search:

Don't get discouraged and give up because it is taking too long and you need an apartment now; if you give up you will never get an affordable apartment to call home.


Further suggestions:

 Having low income is only one of the criteria property managers will review before agreeing to rent to anyone.  They will also review 1) credit history, 2) criminal background, 3) previous eviction records, and will also ask for 4) landlord references.  Therefore . . .

 - While waiting to be called for an apartment, investigate your credit and begin clearing up unpaid or forgotten accounts in collections. 

 - Review your prior history - many types of felony incarcerations or convictions within the last seven (7) years will prevent you from renting anywhere.  Look into clearing your record; it is possible to have records cleared of many different types of convictions.

 - Consider your rental history too - if you left owing rent or were evicted for cause such as non-payment of rent or destruction of property, try clearing any pending issues with your current and prior landlords.  Doing this may help you get a good landlord reference later.

Also attached for your reference is the list of Agencies providing emergency financial assistance with deposits, back rent, and utility costs.  If this is the type of assistance you need now, you will need to apply directly to the agency serving your current zip code if you already have an apartment/home or the zip code you will be moving to if you are in the process of moving.  Your current or new landlord will need to provide information in order to receive payment on your behalf from the agency providing the assistance.

Additional Financial Assistance Resources:

There are three other agencies providing this type of assistance which are not listed on the attached page for the Emergency Assistance Network because their source of funding is different.  Note too that these agencies/programs do not deal with clients directly - everything has to be done through a case manager and approved by the case manager's immediate supervisor.  They also require that the case manager and supervisor attend training regarding their guidelines before any referrals/applications for assistance are accepted.

Please note too that these agencies have a limit on the amount of funding they will provide and there may be times when multiple applications may be needed with various agencies to meet the needs of a specific family. Additionally, all also have once-in-a-life-time limitations and families cannot rely on going back for more assistance every time they fall behind on rent or need help.

The three other agencies/programs are:

Housing Industry Foundation (HIF) - You may want to reach out to them for the most current application form and their guidelines; their website is www.hifinfo.org

Housing Trust of Silicon Valley - Finally Home Program - you may want to visit their website at
www.housingtrustsv.org
for detailed information on their eligibility requirements and the types of housing assistance available through them.

Seasons of Sharing - Social Services Agency - Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Social Services
Phone: 408-755-7710

Please note too that these agencies have a limit on the amount of funding they will provide and there may be times when multiple applications may be needed with various agencies to meet the needs of a specific family. Additionally, all also have once-in-a-life-time limitations and families cannot rely on going back for more assistance every time they fall behind on rent or need help.


Below Market Rate Rentals and Home Sales for First Time Home Buyers:

There is no list of Below Market Rate homes available for first time home buyers.  However, there are several cities in the County offering these programs and they handle the home buying applications themselves.  The same cities also have Below Market Rate rentals and you may find a list of the apartment buildings offering some units with lower rents in the websites below.  Note that at these apartment buildings, the rental applications and wait lists are handled by the property managers, not the cities.

For more information on below market rate rentals and sales, please visit the websites for the City of Sunnyvale, the City of Santa Clara, the City of Cupertino, the City of Palo Alto, and the City of San Jose - their Housing Departments - all these cities have programs for first time home buyers.

Also, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County has a program to help first time home buyers with the down payment.

We hope the links below for below market rate home sales and rentals are helpul:

City of Sunnyvale: Below Market Rate Home Ownership Program

City of Santa Clara: Housing & Community Services Division

City of Cupertino: Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental & Purchase Program

City of Palo Alto: Below Market Rate Housing

City of San Jose: Home Buyer Program

Housing Trust Silicon Valley: Homeownership Assistance

County of Santa Cruz: Measure J Affordable Housing Program