Berkeley apartment building accepts applications from ‘very low income’ households

Photo of Jones Berkeley Apartments
Lisi Ludwig/Staff
The rent for the 16 units included in Jones Berkeley's low-income housing lottery will be set permanently below the market rate.

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Jones Berkeley, a new 170-unit apartment building located at 1500 San Pablo Ave., will be accepting lottery applications from “very low income” households for 16 of its apartment units, according to a city of Berkeley press release sent Monday.

Applications, which will be due to the property manager by 5 p.m. on Oct. 13, will be placed into a lottery held on Oct. 22. This lottery, meant to cater to households making no more than $45,700 to $65,250 a year depending on unit type, was created through the city’s Below Market-Rate, or BMR, housing program, according to the press release.

“Given the high cost of construction and land, inclusionary units are a critical way to increase the amount of affordable housing units in the City,” the press release states.

According to the release, unlike most apartments in which landlords can choose to set any rent when a unit is vacated, the BMR program units will be permanently set below the market rate. Rents for these apartments do rise, however, as the established income thresholds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are raised.

The 16 units available include four studio apartments, five one-bedroom apartments, six two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom apartment, according to the press release.

Currently, the rental rates are set at $1,083 for studio apartments, $1,218 for one-bedroom apartments, $1,352 for two-bedroom apartments and $1,494 for the three-bedroom apartment, according to Michael Uson, Jones Berkeley management coordinator.

According to the BMR Affordable Housing website from Jones Berkeley, one application may be submitted per household. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person drop off of applications will not be allowed.

Each applicant will be given a random lottery ticket number, and the drawing will be completed electronically.

“The first 20 applicants will be contacted to begin processing files. Households are processed in lottery rank and lottery preference order,” the website states. “Once units are filled, the list will then be used as (a) waiting list for any open units in the future.”

Lottery winners will receive a post-lottery letter and will be given five business days from the date on the letter to return the required paperwork to the property, according to the website.

The website states that each household member who is 18 years old or older is required to submit documentation regarding employment, assets and income tax returns, among other forms. More information can be found on the Jones Berkeley website.

Contact Sabrina Dong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sabrina_dong_.