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Housing and Community Services Department
Housing and Community Services Department

Inclusionary Zoning Ownership (Condominium) Units

 Inclusionary/BMR Homeownership Policies and Procedures

Owners of Inclusionary/Below Market Rate (BMR) ownership units are responsible for marketing their units and executing a contract with an interested buyer.  The City does not maintain a waiting list or notify interested persons if a unit is for sale.  The owner may choose to advertise the unit through public websites, on the MLS, or by some other means.  First preference will be given to eligible persons who are City of Berkeley residents.  Second preference will be given to eligible persons who are employed in the City.  The City also has the first right of refusal which allows the City to purchase the property directly from the homeowner.

Owners of BMR units must contact the City at least 60 days prior to marketing their unit.  The City will then inform the owner on the selling process and if it intends to exercise its first right of refusal. If the City chooses not purchase the property, the owner may place the property on the market. Once the owner selects a household to enter into a contract with, the City will determine whether the buyer is qualified for the BMR program.  To qualify an interested buyer, the City must receive the buyer's income and asset documentation from the owner or the owner's agent.  The City will review this documentation and inform the owner or owner's agent of the buyer's eligibility.  To be eligible to purchase a BMR unit, buyers must meet the following criteria: 

• Be a first-time homebuyer (see definition below)*
• Meet income limits (Limited Equity Cooperatives-120% of Area Median Income as established by US. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Oakland-Fremont MSA; 80% AMI for all other units)
• Must occupy the unit as their primary, sole residence
• Occupy the unit within 60 days of purchase
• Provide a down-payment of at least 5% of the purchase price, 3% of which must come from the buyer's own funds.
• People who live in the City of Berkeley has first preference
• People who work in the City of Berkeley has second preference

Anyone interested in a specific BMR unit that is for sale must contact the owner or owner's agent directly.  The City will only communicate through the owner or owner's agent who is responsible for providing details about the process to interested parties.
As a condition of closing escrow, all buyers will be required to sign a resale restriction which details the guidelines of who the property can be sold to and the maximum sales price.  In general, the maximum sales price is the original sales price plus customary closing costs multiplied by the change in the Consumer Price Index.  Then, 50% of any capital improvements the homeowner has made will be added to this figure to determine the maximum resale price.

If you have questions about the program contact the BMR program at (510)981-5304 or at

*First-time homebuyers is a household that matches one of the following conditions:

• None of the members have had an ownership interest in a principal residence for a three-year period ending on the purchase date of the property.
• A single parent who has only owned a home with a former Spouse while they were married or, for registered domestic partners, for the duration of the registered partnership.
• A displaced homemaker who has only owned a home with a Spouse.
• An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation, according to applicable regulations.


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Housing and Community Services Department, 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-5400
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903