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 several rental developments that include below-market rate units in Foster City: Metro Senior Apartments, Foster's Landing, Marlin Cove, Miramar and The Plaza, One Hundred Grand and Alma Point.  Each development keeps their own waiting list.  See the contact information below.

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

The third phase of the Pilgrim Triton Master Plan, The Triton, is expected to be completed mid 2017 with 48 below market rate units. A lottery was held in November 2016 to establish the waiting list. The waiting list is closed

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 2017 issued on June 9, 2017 (until the 2018 limits are released) are:

2017 Income Limits by Number of Persons in Household – San Mateo County ($)

Income Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Extremely Low  27,650   31,600   35,550
  39,500   42,700   45,850   49,000   52,150
Very Low Income  46,100   52,650   59,250   65,800   71,100   76,350   81,600   86,900
Lower Income  73,750   84,300   94,850  105,350  113,800  122,250  130,650  139,100
Median Income  80,700   92,250  103,750  115,300  124,500  133,750  142,950  152,200
Moderate Income  96,850  110,700  124,500  138,350  149,400  160,500  171,550  182,600

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
One Hundred Grand
10 18 5
Alma Point
65 0 0
The Triton (The Waverly) 8 31 9
Plaza                         15                  40                           5

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 the other developments 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 and which utilities are paid by the landlord.  As examples, the 2017 rent limits at Marlin Cove, Miramar and The Plaza are as follows:


Unit Category Marlin Cove Miramar Triton Plaza
Very-low one-bedroom 1,128 1,251 1,118
Very-low two-bedroom 1,241 1,416 1,319
Very-low three-bedroom NA NA 1,450
Low one-bedroom NA NA 1,980
Low two-bedroom NA NA 2,209
Low three-bedroom NA 2,552 2,439
Moderate one-bedroom 2,349 2,400 2,409
Moderate two-bedroom 2,613 2,686 2,691
Moderate three-bedroom NA NA 2,976

*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 and the 65 units at Alma Point are reserved for senior citizens.  The waiting list for the Metro Senior Apartments and Alma Point are 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 six 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 preference categories?

Yes, the preference categories adopted by the City Council in Resolution 2000-123 are:

1. Persons who live and work in Foster City;
2. Persons who live in Foster City;
3. Employees of the City of Foster City;
4. Classroom teachers who are employees of the San Mateo-Foster City School District, the San Mateo Union High School District or the San Mateo Community College District;
5. Persons who work in Foster City; and
6. All others who are income qualified.

13.  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.

14.  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.

15.  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.

16.  Is there any assistance for home rehabilitation or repairs?
The San Mateo County program for home rehabilitation loans has been suspended.  For information on other home repair and home rehabilitation programs, follow this link

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200