Affordable Housing Programs Frequently Asked Questions
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Affordable Housing Programs Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What types of affordable housing programs are available in Foster City?

We have both rental and ownership programs for affordable housing, as well as a homeshare matching program.  If you will provide your name and mailing address, we will send you a packet of information.  You can make your request via e-mail to: or by phone: (650) 286-3225.

2.  Are there below-market-rate rental units available?  How do I get on the waiting list?

There are five rental developments that include below-market rate units in Foster City: Metro Senior Apartments, Foster's Landing, Marlin Cove, Miramar and Triton Plaza.  As of February 2013, Foster's Landing (650 574-3060), Marlin Cove (650 349-3200); Miramar (650 287-4384) and Triton Plaza ( are taking names for their waiting lists.  Foster's Landing is taking names for only the low- and moderate-income waiting lists. The waiting list for the Metro Senior Apartments is closed at this time.

3.  Are there any new below-market-rate units coming? How do I apply for a unit?

The second phase of the Pilgrim Triton development, Triton Pointe, is expected to be completed in 2015. Go to to get on the interest list. Watch for announcements in late 2014 to apply for the lottery that will establish the first waiting list. The third phase of the Pilgrim Triton development, The Waverly, is expected to begin construction in 2014 and be completed in 2016. Foster Square Senior Apartments is expected to begin construction in 2014-15 and be completed in 2016.

4.  What are the income limits for the program?

The income limits for affordable housing programs are adjusted in the spring of each year.  You can look them up at  The income limits for 2014 (until the 2015 limits are released) are:

2014 Income Limits by Number of Persons in Household – San Mateo County ($)

Income Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Extremely Low  23,750  27,150 30,550    33,950  36,650  39,400  42,100  44,800
Very Low Income  39,600  45,250  50,900  56,550  61,050  65,600  70,100  74,650
Lower Income  63,350  72,400  81,450  90,500  97,700  104,950  112,200  119,450
Median Income  72,100  82,400  92,700  103,000  111,250  119,500  127,700  135,950
Moderate Income  86,500  98,900  111,250  123,600  133,500  143,400  153,250  163,150

5.  What categories of affordable units are in each of the rental developments?


Foster City Below-Market-Rate Rental Units by Income Category ($)

Income Category Very Low Income Low Income Moderate Income
Foster's Landing 30 22 22
Metro Senior Apts. 54 6 0
Marlin Cove 56 0 28
Miramar 32 0 16
Triton Plaza 15 40 5
Triton Pointe¹ 10 18 5
The Waverly² 8 31 9
Foster Square (senior)³ 66 0 0


¹Under construction - completion anticipated in 2015
²Approved - completion anticipated in 2016
³Approved - completion anticipated in 2016

6.  Do the income limits and rents change each year?

Yes, as discussed above, the income limits are adjusted each year.  As provided in the lease, the rent can be adjusted within the limits of the program.

7.  Once a tenant is in the program, do they have to re-qualify each year?

Yes, the programs all require that a tenant be re-certified for the program each year.

8.  What are the rents for the below-market-rate units?

The rents at Foster's Landing are based on each individual tenant household's income so that the monthly rent is approximately 30% of the household's income. The rent limits for the affordable units at Marlin Cove, Miramar and Triton Plaza are based on the income limits for the applicable categories, using a formula that includes an assumed household size and a utility allowance that varies with the type of appliances in the unit.  The 2013 rent limits at Marlin Cove, Miramar and Triton Plaza are as follows:


Unit Category Marlin Cove Miramar Triton Plaza
Very-low one-bedroom 990 1,084 1,087
Very-low two-bedroom 1,093 1,211 1,216
Very-low three-bedroom NA NA 1,340
Low one-bedroom NA NA 1,766
Low two-bedroom NA NA 1,979
Low three-bedroom NA 2,187 2,189
Moderate one-bedroom 2,125 2,145 2,219
Moderate two-bedroom 2,369 2,404 2,487
Moderate three-bedroom NA NA 2,757

*The landlord may choose to set the rent amounts below the limit provided by the program regulations.

9.  Are there senior citizen apartments in the affordable housing program?

Yes, all 60 of the units at Metro Senior Apartments are reserved for senior citizens.  The waiting list for the Metro Senior Apartments is closed at this time.

10.  Are there below-market-rate ownership units available? Is there a waiting list?

There are seven below market rate units at Emerald Bay. They would only become available if one of the owners decides to sell.  The Agency does not maintain a waiting list. Contact a local realtor to obtain information about how to watch for these listings.

11.  Does the City own any rental units?  Is there a waiting list?

The Foster City Community Development Agency owns seven units that are reserved for large families (4 or more people).  The program is managed by HIP (Human Investment Project). For more information, contact HIP at (650)-348-0660.

12.  Are there any first-time homebuyer loan programs?  What are the qualifications?

New loans from the City's first-time homebuyer loan program have been suspended due to the State legislation to terminate redevelopment agencies. HEART of San Mateo County has a first-time homebuyer loan program. Follow this link for more information.

13.  Are there other first-time homebuyer programs?

There is also Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC) for first-time homebuyers.  The MCC Program is a means of providing financial assistance to first-time homebuyers by allowing those homebuyers to take fifteen percent of annual mortgage interest payments as a tax credit against their federal personal income tax in addition to the regular itemized deduction for the remaining 85% of the home mortgage interest payments. For more information, contact San Mateo County at (650) 802-5032.

14.  What is the homeshare program?

The Human Investment Project (HIP) administers a Shared Housing Program that matches, through a careful interview process, those wishing to provide affordable housing in a shared situation with those seeking affordable housing in a shared situation.  Homeowners providing housing is benefited by the rental income received and the companionship provided.  Renters are benefited by a reduced rent amount and by companionship as well. For more information, contact HIP at (650) 348-0660.

15.  Is there any assistance for home rehabilitation or repairs?

Foster City residents may apply for a home rehabilitation loan through the County of San Mateo.  These low interest loans (3% for up to 20 years) are available to income-eligible homeowners only.  The loans may be used for home repairs and rehabilitation. For more information, contact San Mateo County Office of Housing at (650) 802-5050.

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