Looking for Housing?

Read about steps to finding affordable housing.

Find contact information for organizations that provide affordable housing or review a list of current openings for subsidized affordable housing waitlists.

Steps to find affordable housing
Steps to find affordable housing. Read the full text with links below!

Steps to Find Affordable Housing

by Kiki Poe, Membership & Operations Director, EBHO

It can be difficult to find an affordable home, but knowing your options will increase your chances. Contact the organizations in this guidebook or call 2-1-1 for help.

Step 1. Learn about different kinds of affordable housing

Non-Profit Housing

Non-profit affordable housing developments offer well-designed and professionally-managed homes with restricted rents and varying eligibility requirements. Call the organizations listed in this guide and visit their websites. 

Section 8

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) closes the gap between rent and your income. Contact your local public housing authority for guidance.

Affordable Homeownership and Other Options

Contact the organizations listed below about homebuyer assistance and education programs. Consider Community Land Trusts and co-housing as options. Struggling with mortgage payments? See the financial and foreclosure counseling resources in this brochure.

Tenants’ Rights and other Housing Assistance

If you need help with a security deposit, rent, emergency housing or shelter, or tenant/landlord issues, contact the “housing, shelter and emergency resources” organizations listed here.

Step 2. Get your finances and credit ready

Credit Check

Obtain your credit report early, and be prepared to tell prospective landlords about any problems and the steps you’ve taken to address them. They may accept a low credit rating with good references, proof of employment, a higher security deposit, or a co-signer. For help, contact a credit-counseling agency.

Income and Budgeting

Your housing should cost no more than one-third of your income. Some agencies can help you create a financial and savings plan so you can afford transportation, childcare, health care and other expenses along with rent or mortgage payments.

Step 3. Check to see if your income qualifies

Find out if you qualify for affordable housing by inquiring with a specific property or non-profit developer. If you have a Section 8 voucher, ask if the property will accept it, or contact your housing authority for a list of landlords who will.

Steps to find affordable housing. This page is from our Affordable Housing Guidebook. You can read the full text below.

Step 4. Identify your housing needs and preferences

Think about location and amenities, but also be flexible and consider several cities and types of housing to increase your chances. Non-profit housing often targets certain populations: seniors, special needs, family or transitional/supportive. You may have trouble qualifying if you’re undocumented or if you have a certain type of criminal record. Most EBHO members strive to serve undocumented and formerly incarcerated people when possible.

Step 5. Contact non-profit housing organizations and apply

  • Check the websites of non-profit developers often or call to get current information and applications. Follow directions to ensure success.
  • Search through 2-1-1, www.achousingchoices.org to find openings.
  • For properties with openings, visit the website or call to request an application or to be added to the waitlist. Complete and submit applications by the deadline.
  • For properties under construction, ask to be added to the interest/marketing list.
  • Once you’ve submitted your applications or joined a waitlist, let each property know if you move or change your phone number. Ask about the best way to keep in contact.

Apply to as many affordable housing properties as you can. Be persistent and informed, and advocate for more affordable housing in your community!

Alameda County

You can view waiting list openings and listed non-profit and private market housing in Alameda County at https://achousingchoices.org/.

Alameda County now has a portal where you can view current waitlist openings for all new affordable homes that were built using Measure A1 funding. This is a great place to start, but remember, click through all housing providers below and see if they have housing that aligns with your needs and apply to those units as well.

Applying for and securing community-subsidized affordable housing can take many months or years. If you need immediate/emergency housing support please see our list of housing legal aid, shelter, and other housing support services.

If you want to see what housing options are available and start applying to waitlists and apartments, review each organization’s website below to see the kind of affordable housing they help provide, if they have a list of available units, or have openings on their waitlists for specific housing communities.

The video below is an introduction to different types of affordable housing and a panel of residents of affordable housing and an explanation of different paths to apply for an affordable housing unit from staff who work at organizations that provide or connect people to affordable homes.

Organizations that Provide Affordable Housing

Non-profit organizations that develop, own and manage affordable housing in the East Bay

Abode Services | (510) 657-7409 | www.abodeservices.org

Bay Area Community Land Trust| (510) 545-3258 | www.bayareaclt.org

BRIDGE Housing | (415) 989-1111 | www.bridgehousing.com

Christian Church Homes | (510) 632-6712 | www.cchnc.org

Community Housing Development Corporation | (510) 412-9290 | www.communityhdc.org

Covia | (925) 956-7400 | www.covia.org

EAH Housing | (415) 258-1800 | www.eahhousing.org

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) | (510) 287-5353 | www.ebaldc.org

Eden Housing | (510) 582-1460 | www.edenhousing.org

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley | (510) 251-6304 | www.habitatebsv.org

Housing Consortium of the East Bay | (510) 832-1382 | www.hceb.org

Human Good Organizations | (925) 924-7100 | www.humangood.org

Mercy Housing California | (415) 355-7100 | www.mercyhousing.org

MidPen Housing | (650) 356-2900 | www.midpen-housing.org

Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services | (510) 237-6459 | RichmondNHS.org

Northern California Land Trust | (510) 548-7878 |www.nclt.org

Oakland Community Land Trust | (510) 463-2887 | www.oakclt.org

Resources for Community Development | (510) 841-4410 | www.RCDhousing.org

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates | (510) 647-0700| www.sahahomes.org

 The Unity Council  | (510) 535-6900 | www.unitycouncil.org


Management of affordable housing and administration of Section 8 programs

Alameda County| (510) 538-8876 | www.haca.net

City of Alameda | (510) 747-4300 | www.alamedahsg.org

Berkeley | (510) 981-5470 | https://bha.berkeleyca.gov/

Contra Costa County | (925) 957-8000 | www.contracostahousing.org

Livermore | (925) 447-3600 | www.livermoreHA.org

Oakland | (510) 874-1500 | www.oakha.org

Pittsburg | (925) 252-4830

Richmond | (510) 621-1300 | www.ci.richmond.ca.us/rha

Immediate Housing Support


Community-based organizations that provide transitional, supportive, and rapid re-housing; mental and physical health services; and other support services.

A Safe Place Domestic Violence Services

emergency transport, food, shelter for women and children facing domestic violence

24-hour crisis line: (510) 536-7233


Abode Services

emergency housing, rapid re-housing, health clinic

(510) 657-7409


Alameda Point Collaborative

permanent and supportive housing in City of Alameda

 (510) 898-7854 (services center)


Bay Area Community Services

temp housing for people with mental health challenges or post-incarceration

(510) 613-0330


Bay Area Rescue Mission

shelters for single men, women, and women with children

(510) 215-4555


Berkeley Food and Housing Project

homeless prevention, rental assistance, rapid re-housing in Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano counties

The Hub for Shelter Information: (866) 960-2132

Veteran Services: (855) 862-1804


Bonita House, Inc.

for people with mental health and substance use disorders

(510) 923-1099


Building Futures

shelter, housing assistance for victims of domestic violence,

Crisis Line: (866) 292-9688 / (866) A-Way-Out


Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency

transitional housing after discharge from hospital or prison

(510) 613-0330


Catholic Charities East Bay

back rent, security deposits, utilities, one-time financial assistance

(510) 768-3100


Center for Independent Living

housing services for people with disabilities

(510) 841-4776


Contra Costa Crisis Center/Contra Costa 211

referrals to homeless and housing services

211 or (800) 833-2900


Contra Costa County Youth Continuum of Services        

drop-in services, housing for youth and transition-aged youth (call for location)

(800) 610-9400 or (510) 236-9612         

Davis Street Family Resource Center

clinic, clothing, food, and homelessness resources in San Leandro

(510) 347-4620


East Bay Community Recovery Project (EBCRP)

for women, children, people exiting Santa Rita Jail with mental health, drug, alcohol challenges

(510) 446-7100


East Oakland Community Project

emergency, transitional housing for individuals, families

(510) 532-3211


ECHO Housing Assistance Center

move-in costs, back rent, housing assistance, homebuyer education, tenant/landlord info

(855) ASK-ECHO


Family Emergency Shelter Coalition

housing subsidies for families in Alameda County

510-886-5473 ext. 101


First Place for Youth

youth exiting foster care

(510) 272-0979


Fremont Family Resource Center

housing, resources

(510) 574-2000


Greater Richmond Interfaith Program

housing referrals, showers, food, laundry, mail for veterans, individuals

(510) 233-2141


Hope Solutions (formerly Contra Costa Interfaith Housing)

permanent supportive housing

(925) 944-2244


Housing CHOICES for Alameda County

database to search for affordable housing


Housing Consortium of the East Bay

people with developmental disabilities, special needs

(510) 832-1382


Impact Justice: Homecoming Project

housing support for formerly incarcerated people

(510) 899-5010

Impact Justice Homecoming Project Website

Lutheran Social Services

childcare, housing support

 (925) 825-1060


Operation Dignity          

Emergency housing for veterans, mobile outreach, permanent supportive housing

(510) 287-8465

Rainbow Community Center

emergency housing for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 12-24) in Concord

(925) 692-0090


SAVE (Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments)

housing and legal support for youth and victims of domestic violence

24-hour crisis hotline: (510) 794-6055

Empowerment Center: (510) 574-2250



housing and one-time move-in support for families, veterans, individuals,in Contra Costa County

(925) 338-1038


Spectrum Community Services – Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

energy bill assistance, nutrition, fall prevention for seniors and low-income people

(510) 881-0300


STAND! For Families Free of Violence

resources for people harmed by violence

Crisis hotline: (888) 215-5555


St. Mary’s Center

housing and health support for seniors in Oakland

(510) 923-9600


St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

emergency overnight shelter for adults

(510) 638-7600


Information and support on eviction, discrimination and other legal and financial issues

Bay Area Legal Aid

Alameda County Office: (510) 663-4744

Contra Costa Office:      (510) 233-9954

Legal Advice Line:         (800) 551-5554

Tenants Rights Line (Alameda County):  (888) 382-3405


Centro de Servicios

Tri-Valley area

(510) 489-4100


Centro Legal de la Raza

legal clinics for Alameda County tenants

(510) 437-1554


Community Resources for Independent Living

housing assistance for seniors and people with disabilities

(510) 881-5743


East Bay Community Law Center

legal assistance for low-income people

(510) 548-4040


Eviction Defense Center

legal services in Alameda County

(510) 452-4541


Family Violence Law Center (FVLC)

survivors of violence and sexual assault

Hotline: (800) 947-8301



Additional counseling and legal and financial guidance related to foreclosure and tenancy


support for first-time homebuyers, foreclosure intervention, default counseling

(415) 928-5910


Causa Justa :: Just Cause

tenant rights hotline and clinic, unlawful detainers, legal referrals

Tenants Rights Clinic: (510) TENANTS (510) 836-2687


Community Housing Development Corporation

car loans and grants for working people, first-time homebuyer support, down payment assistance, foreclosure, loan modification

(510) 412-9290


Housing and Economic Rights Advocates

foreclosure prevention, housing discrimination

(510) 271-8443 ext. 300


Oakland Housing Assistance Center

info-line about Oakland-funded housing programs including homebuying and rehab assistance

(510) 238-6182

Pacific Community Services

rental and low-income homebuyer assistance in Pittsburg

(925) 439-1056

Project Sentinel

Tenant-Landlord Dispute Line: (408) 720-9888   

Housing Discrimination: (888) 324-7468

Housing Counseling:      (408) 470-3730


Tenants Together

Tenant Rights Hotline:   (888) 495-8020



Homeownership Preservation Foundation

(888) 995-HOPE (4673)


Keep Your Home California

(888) 953-3722



Rubicon Programs

legal support, public benefits, employment support, re-entry support, financial education

Oakland Center: (510) 208-0912

Richmond Center: (510) 412-1725

Antioch Center: (925) 399-8990

Hayward Center: (510) 670-5700

Concord Center: (925) 671-4500


Money Management International

foreclosure, reverse-mortgage, pre-purchase counseling

(866) 531-3442


Operation Hope Oakland

budgeting, debt reduction, credit report clearance, small business support

(510) 535-6700