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 Menlo Park are required to contribute BMR housing units and/or BMR housing in-lieu fees.

For more information on developer requirements:

BMR units can be available for rent or purchase. BMR sale and rent prices are based on what is affordable to eligible households. BMR units remain affordable over time to provide financial stability for various income levels and household sizes.

Household eligibility

To be eligible for the BMR Housing Program:

  • Households who have lived or worked in Menlo Park for at least one year will receive a priority preference for the program. Please note, 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.
  • Based on the income category(extremely low, very low, low and moderate) of available units, the gross annual household income must not exceed the income limits as established by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (see HCD's income limit chart for San Mateo County). All households who meet the income requirements are encouraged to enroll in the program.
  • To view all eligibility criteria, please review the Below Market Rate Housing Program Guidelines.

How the program works

HouseKeys is the program administrator for Menlo Park's BMR housing program. HouseKeys, a registered non-profit organization, provides home ownership, rental and finance programs on behalf of multiple Bay Area municipalities. As the BMR housing administrator for Menlo Park, HouseKeys assists in providing housing opportunities to income eligible households.

HouseKeys provides a web-based software platform created to help eligible households manage program guidelines, find housing opportunities and navigate the application process.

Participants who signed up for the BMR housing program's rental and ownership lists with previous service providers will be contacted by HouseKeys in early February. The  order of the existing ownership unit waitlist will remain the same.

For more information about the BMR housing program or to sign up for the rental and/or interest lists, please visit the HouseKeys website.


BMR units typically 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.

BMR rental and ownership unit locations

BMR units can be apartments, condominiums, townhomes or single-family homes. There are presently 68 BMR ownership housing units in Menlo Park.

View a map of existing rental and ownership units(PDF, 3MB)

For information regarding rental unit operators and additional resources, please visit affordable housing resources.

Additional information

Current BMR owners

If you would like more information on how to refinance your first mortgage, please contact HouseKeys staff.

Contact us

BMR Housing Services Administrator