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 second phase of the Pilgrim Triton development, One Hundred Grand (formerly Triton Pointe), was completed in mid-2016 with 33 below market rate units. The third phase, The Triton, is expected to be completed early 2017 with 48 below market rate units. Watch for announcements in late 2016 to apply for the lottery that will establish the first waiting list for The Triton.

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 2016 (until the 2017 limits are released) are:

2016 Income Limits by Number of Persons in Household – San Mateo County ($)

Income Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Extremely Low  25,850  29,550  33,250 
 36,900  39,900  42,850  45,800  48,750
Very Low Income  43,050  49,200  55,350   61,500  66,450  91,350  76,300  81,200
Lower Income  68,950  78,800  88,650   98,500  106,400  114,300  122,150  130,050
Median Income  75,400  86,150  96,950  107,700  116,300  124,950  133,550  142,150
Moderate Income  90,500  103,400  116,350  129,250  139,600  149,950  160,250  170,600

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 (Triton Plaza) 15 40 5
Alma Point
65 0 0
The Triton (The Waverly) 8 31 9

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 2016 rent limits at Marlin Cove, Miramar and Triton Plaza are as follows:


Unit Category Marlin Cove Miramar Triton Plaza
Very-low one-bedroom 1,059 1,165 1,096
Very-low two-bedroom 1,166 1,319 1,221
Very-low three-bedroom NA NA 1,346
Low one-bedroom NA NA 1,836
Low two-bedroom NA NA 2,053
Low three-bedroom NA 2,381 2,271
Moderate one-bedroom 2,198 2,232 2,235
Moderate two-bedroom 2,448 2,499 2,503
Moderate three-bedroom NA NA 2,770

*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?

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.

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