Housing Programs

Housing Programs Overview
The mission of the Housing Program is to foster the creation of high-quality affordable housing at all income levels and for a variety of needs. The Housing staff administers housing policy and programs, and offers information about affordable housing opportunities in the City of El Cerrito.


In August 2017, the City Council adopted the City’s first Affordable Housing Strategy. The Strategy identified four policy pillars, with associated strategies, action items and timelines to proactively achieve the City’s affordable housing goals to protect, produce and preserve housing. Click here to view a summary of the policies identified in the Strategy.

Learn more about community housing resources:
  • Look up resources for finding affordable housing in El Cerrito.
  • Find help with housing issues such as foreclosure or tenant/landlord counseling.
  • Find housing-related City documents.
  • Contact us with another housing-related question


The Contra Costa Housing Services Collaborative offers comprehensive housing services, including tenant/landlord, fair housing and legal services providers, to County residents at no cost.

Attention: COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners/renters - Click Here

CA COVID‐19 Rent Relief Available to Income Eligible Households

Rent Relief
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will help income-eligible El Cerrito tenants and landlords with unpaid rent and utilities incurred between April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides funding to support the State program established through the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. If you have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID‐19, have past due rent or utilities, and have a household income that is not more than 80% of the area median income (as shown below), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance from the State of California. Both landlords and tenants can verify eligibility and apply for assistance by visiting HousingIsKey.com, or by calling 833‐430‐2122.

Median Income Limits

Events: Workshops and Webinars

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER WORKSHOPS: May 15 and May 22, 2021 from 10AM – 3PM
ECHO Housing is hosting a series of first-time homebuyer education courses to residents of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. These workshops will help determine if you are ready for homeownership, how to select a lender, shop for a home and become a successful homeowner. Click here to register or visit www.echofairhousing.org.

Affordable Housing Month Celebration: May 13, 2021 @ 5:30pm
Join the East Bay Housing Organization (EBHO) in celebrating Affordable Housing Month. There will be a variety of virtual events held throughout May that are available to all community members. To view a full list of events and sign up, please click here.

CA Emergency Rental Assistance Program- The Housing is Key Program
May 10, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT
Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services is excited to be a part of the State of CA Partnership Network – supporting those most impacted by COVID 19. If you or someone you know has been financially impacted by COVID 19 and are at risk of losing your housing, please share this information. Click here to register.

On October 15, 2020, ECHO Housing held a live webinar presentation for tenants and landlords of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties about tenant protections. To access this presentation, click here. For information about ECHO Housing, please visit www.echofairhousing.org.
Affordable Housing Wait list OpportunitieS

Strawberry Creek Lodge: 1320 Addison Way, Berkeley
The waiting list for studio units at Strawberry Creek Lodge opens on May 14, 2021 at 9:00 AM. Applications must be submitted online by 5:00 PM on May 21, 2021. A lottery will be conducted for all applications received by the deadline. Only the top 300 applications will be placed on the waiting list for consideration. If additional applications are needed, we reserve the right to process the next applications in lottery order. Please note: the head of household must be age 62 years or older. Applications must be submitted online and the link to the online application will be posted on May 14, 2021 here: sahahomes.org/apply

The Village at Town Center, 6410 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito
There is currently one Below Market Rate (BMR) rental unit available to households at or below moderate-income limits. This property is in close proximity to transit and washer/dryers are included in all units. Please review the BMR Flyer for income minimums/maximums and how to apply.
One (1) Two-bedroom renting for $2,445/per month

May 2021 Affordable Housing Opportunities – All Bay Area Counties (Courtesy of Openhouse)

To learn about future affordable housing opportunities, please subscribe to our Community Development e-Newsletter here.


On May 15, 2018, the City Council adopted an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance as identified in the 2017 Affordable Housing Strategy. The Ordinance is effective June 14, 2018 and applies to new development that does not already have completed applications by the effective date. Inclusionary zoning requires new market-rate residential projects to set aside between 10% - 12% of its units for low to moderate-income households or the option of paying an in-lieu fee to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. In-lieu fees are earmarked for future affordable housing development opportunities.

Please contact Aissia Ashoori, Affordable Housing Analyst, at 510.215.4361 for more information.

Developer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)