County of San Mateo’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Program

The County of San Mateo’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Program fulfills several key affordable home ownership objectives:

  • Increases purchase capacity for low to moderate-income, homebuyers that either live and/or work in the County of San Mateo;
  • Creates a mechanism which adds permanent affordable housing in unincorporated San Mateo County;
  • Provides the resources and support to assist residents and individuals who work in the County to fulfill their dream of home ownership.

What is a BMR?

A BMR unit is a housing unit that is priced to be affordable to households that are moderate income or below. These housing units are often built by local government, non-profits, or as a requirement of the developer (Inclusionary Affordable Housing Ordinance). As a result, these homes have certain deed restrictions recorded on the property which ensures the home remains affordable for future generations.

How the Program Works

The County of San Mateo Below Market Rate (BMR) Program has been created to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income persons living or working in San Mateo County. The program requires that all interested parties complete and submit an application when a BMR is available.

Current Available Unit (s)


Eligibility Requirements

  • All applicants must include Pre-Approval Letter from a lender
  • All applicants must either live and/or work in San Mateo County
    • Primary residence in San Mateo County continuously for a minimum of one year.
    • Work in San Mateo County a minimum of one year over the last two years. A minimum average of 20 hours per week, over the course of the qualifying year.
  • Income Eligibility
    • To qualify to purchase a BMR home, the buyer must meet the following income requirement. San Mateo County Income limits for 2022 (80 percent Area Median Income):
      • 1 person household: $104,400
      • 2 person household: $119,300
      • 3 person household: $149,100
  • Applicant must NOT have owned any real property in the last three calendar years.
  • Applicant’s household composition must not exceed state limits: 3 persons for 2-bedroom unit, 4 persons for 3-bedroom unit.
  • Applicant must be able to show mortgage readiness, including having a minimum of three (3) percent down-payment.

Applicant Priority

Anyone who meets the income criteria and  qualifies for financing may purchase a BMR home, however, priority will be given to:

  • Residents living in unincorporated San Mateo County 
  • First-time homebuyers;
  • Section 8 Homebuyer Program participants.

Program Requirements

Please see attached requirements before applying. Please see the attached “Program Description” document.


For questions or additional information about the program, please email: