The Affordable Housing Program is part of the Community Development Department. The program provides both rental and ownership units to households of very-low, low, and moderate incomes. Historically, the City has been able to provide some funding for housing developers who develop affordable housing. Since 2000, the City assisted in the construction of over 700 units of affordable housing as part of the Hamilton Airfield redevelopment as well as other deed restricted units throughout the City.
Novato already has a significant amount of affordable housing that meets State requirements. The following are PDF links to a list and map of existing affordable housing within the City of Novato. The list and map provide the project’s name, location, number of units and level of affordability. The level of affordability is based on Marin County’s Area Median Income (AMI) - $118,400/year (for 2018) for a family of four. The affordability of the units is guaranteed by deed restriction and the units are monitored for compliance by the City.
Here are brief summaries of the programs that the Affordable Housing Program has to offer:
Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Housing Program
The Below Market Rate (BMR) program is a home ownership program. The units in the program are sold below the market rate value of the unit, and exist throughout the City of Novato.
At its December 11, 2012 meeting, the City Council contracted with Hello Housing to manage the BMR ownership program for the City of Novato. For questions about sales, resales or refinancing, please contact Isabel Chalker at Hello Housing at 415-504-3665 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BMR Rental Program
There a number of affordable Below Market Rate (BMR) rental units provided throughout the City. The rents are restricted for households of very-low and low incomes. Please go to the links page for more information about affordable rental developments in the City of Novato.
Novato Affordable Rental Housing (not including senior rental housing)
Novato has both affordable ownership and rental developments for seniors with minimum age restrictions starting at 55 years of age. If you are interested in a particular senior housing development, please be sure to inquire about minimum age requirements. For information: Novato Senior Housing & Services
The City also assists in funding affordable housing developments. Developers constructing affordable housing may request that the City provide "gap financing" to complete the needed funding for the project. The City also participates in the County's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The City receives an annual allocation from the County to help fund a variety of projects and services that benefit low income households.
For more information on the CDBG program, and the availability of monies that could be used towards affordable housing proposals, please contact Roy Bateman at the Community Development Agency of the County of Marin at 415-473-6698.
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Mobile Home Rent Control
The Novato Rent Control Ordinance for mobile home parks was enacted to protect tenants’ investments in their mobile homes and ensure affordable space rents, while at the same time recognizing park owners’ rights to earn a fair return on investment. The ordinance governs various aspects of rents, rent increases, and other protections for current and potential future tenants of mobile home parks.
For more information about Mobile Home Rent Control:
- June 4, 2015 Letter to Owners and Residents
- Rent Control Presentation
- Rent Control Ordinance
- Consumer Price Index Percentage Change Rate Adjustment Memo (2015)
Fair Housing Ordinance
The City of Novato Fair Housing Ordinance precludes discrimination of potential renters based on their source of income, such as those who receive third-party housing subsidies or vouchers. This means that landlords may not preclude potential tenants with housing assistance, such as Section 8 vouchers, in advertising the availability of an apartment, and may not evaluate applications, charge a higher deposit or treat an applicant differently based on a person’s source of income. This ordinance does not prevent or hinder landlords from screening applications or selecting tenants based on other factors, such as having sufficient total income, adequate credit scores, an acceptable rental history or references, or utilizing other typical screening criteria.
For more information on the Fair Housing Ordinance: