Below Market Rate (BMR) housing program

The Below Market Rate Housing Program is intended to increase the supply of affordable housing in Menlo Park. As part of the program, residential and commercial / industrial developers who build in the City of Menlo Park are required to contribute BMR housing units and/or BMR housing in-lieu fees. For more information on developer requirements, see BMR requirements for residential developers or BMR requirements for commercial developers.

BMR units can be available for rent or purchase. BMR sale and rent prices are based on what is affordable to households with low to moderate incomes. BMR units are usually part of market-rate developments and remain permanently affordable over time.

BMR unit locations

BMR units can be apartments, condominiums, town-homes, or single-family homes. There are presently 65 Below Market Rate housing units in Menlo Park, which are located throughout the city.

Map of existing rental and ownership units

Available units

Currently, there are no BMR units available for purchase or rent at this time. 

Even if there are no BMR units available for rent or purchase, the city will continue to accept applications for the BMR waiting list. When a BMR unit becomes available, the city's BMR contractor (Hello Housing) notifies people on the BMR waiting list whose names have been on it for the longest time. These people are invited to submit formal applications to rent / purchase the unit and the eligible, qualified applicant who has been on the waiting list the longest is selected to occupy the unit.

All of Menlo Park's 66 BMR units are presently designated as ownership - rather than rental - units. The city is currently considering proposals for additional BMR units.


BMR units are affordable to low- and moderate-income households. To be eligible, applicants (or a member of the applicant's household) must have lived or worked in Menlo Park for at least one year at the time of occupancy. Please note that to qualify as working in Menlo Park, the applicant's hours worked must average a minimum of 20 hours per week over the course of one year.

To be eligible for the BMR Housing Program:
  • In order to rent, the gross annual household income must not exceed HUD Low Income for San Mateo County (see the first column on the income limit chart)
  • In order to purchase, the gross annual household income must not exceed 110% of San Mateo County Area Median Income (see the second column on the income limit chart)

How the program works

The City of Menlo Park contracted Hello Housing to maintain a waiting list of persons interested in purchasing and/or renting a BMR unit. To apply, first read the BMR Housing Program Introduction and then complete the Below Market Rate Waiting List Application. The same application can be used for both the BMR Purchase Waiting List and the BMR Rental Interest List.

To be eligible, you must currently live or work in Menlo Park and qualify by income (see the income limit chart). Note: you do not have to have lived or worked in Menlo Park for at least one year in order for your name to be placed on the waiting list. Please return your completed BMR Waiting List Application to Hello Housing by mailing it to:

Hello Stewardship – MP BMR Waitlist
1242 Market St., 3 Fl
San Francisco, CA  94102

The BMR Housing Program Introduction is yours to keep. Eligible applicants are notified by mail that their names have been placed on the waiting list.


BMR units become available for purchase or rent in one of two ways. First, presently occupied BMR units are vacated from time-to-time; second, new residential developments in Menlo Park may produce additional BMR units.

Additional information

Current BMR owners

If you would like more information on how to refinance your first mortgage, please visit the Hello Housing website.