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Santa Monica Housing and Economic Development

Creating Affordable Housing Opportunities and a Sustainable Economy in Santa Monica

What is the Affordable Housing Production Program?

The people of Santa Monica passed Proposition R in 1990 mandating that at least 30 percent of new housing must be affordable. The AHPP provides the details to implement this law. Under this program all new multi-family housing developments in Santa Monica, including multifamily housing that is part of commercial or other developments, must contribute to the production of affordable housing, either by building affordable apartments on site, building affordable apartments off site, paying an affordable housing fee, or purchasing and contributing land to be used for affordable housing. 


Why is this list limited to moderate-income households?

The existing waiting list, which was open and closed on January 31, 2017, has a sufficient number of low-income and very low-income applicants to meet referral requirements for the AHPP. Moderate-income households are needed to fill requests for applicants.


How is the waiting list sorted?

The waiting list is sorted so that first priority goes to Santa Monica households who are currently displaced from their homes due to a natural disaster that has damaged the building, a government-ordered eviction, demolition of the building, owner/relative occupancy of your apartment, or eviction due to the Ellis Act or a Mobile Home closure. Second priority is given to all other households who either live or work at least 36 hours a week in Santa Monica, including those in job training with a Santa Monica employer, or those who previously worked in Santa Monica who now receive retirement benefits, worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or vocational rehabilitation benefits. The list is then sorted by the date and time that the application is submitted.


How is a person chosen from the waiting list?

When an owner of a building with affordable apartments has a vacancy, they request applicants from the City-administered waiting list. Applicants are then chosen from the waiting list, documents are collected to verify their income, and if the applicant qualifies for the apartment, their information is sent to the property owner, who will then contact the applicant.


What documents will I need if I am chosen from the waiting list?

Applicants will need to submit tax forms, bank statements, paystubs, and documentation of any other income, assets, or benefits received by the household. If they are chosen to lease the apartment, the household with be required to resubmit updated documentation every year to continue to qualify for the apartment.


How do I find an affordable apartment?

There are a few ways to find affordable apartments in Santa Monica:

1. The City-administered waiting list serves buildings that are deed restricted under the AHPP program and are required to take applicants from the list using the methods described above.

2. There are also some deed restricted buildings that are not required to utilize the City-administered waiting list. These apartments can be found in the vacancy listings on the internet or in the newspaper alongside market-rate listings. Affordable listings usually mention income restrictions.

3. Several buildings and housing organizations that provide low- and moderate-income housing throughout the City also have their own waiting lists. Many of those affordable opportunities are listed on the Affordable Housing Opportunities page.


How much rent is affordable rent?

The rent varies based on the affordability designation of the apartment. Affordable housing costs are calculated based on 30 percent of the designated income category for the apartment. Apartments affordable for very low-income households, for example, have a rent limit of around $900 for a one-bedroom apartment. Apartments that are meant to be affordable for moderate-income households have rent that can be twice that amount. Current maximum rent and income levels can be found on the Income & Rent Limits page.


Is there a list of vacancies for affordable apartments?

There is no consolidated list of vacancies for affordable apartments that are administered by the various buildings and organizations throughout the City. When City of Santa Monica Housing staff hears about a vacancy, it is for properties that are required to take applicants from the waiting list. Housing Staff then provides a list of referrals from the waiting list as soon as possible and that vacancy is filled.


How long will it take for me to receive an apartment?

Unfortunately, we are unable to determine the length of time you will have to wait before your name reaches the top of the list. Names are taken from the waiting list as those currently being assisted leave the program and new funds become available. New funds are not received on a regular basis and we do not know when funding will be available.

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