To qualify for affordable, income-restricted housing, your income must fall within a specified range. The majority of all income-restricted rental housing in Santa Clara County is affordable to households who make less than 80% of area median income, with recent efforts focusing on housing for extremely low-income households.

Income Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually releases income limits that determine eligibility for various housing and community development funds. The State’s Department of Housing and Community Development adjusts and publishes these limits for use with State programs. The County of Santa Clara has one of the highest area median incomes in the country, at $151,300 for a family of four in 2021.

2021 Income Limits for Santa Clara County, by Number of People In Household
Income Category12345678
Extremely Low-Income34,80039,80044,75049,70053,70057,70061,65065,650
Very Low-Income58,00066,30074,60082,85089,50096,150102,750109,400
Median Income105,900121,050136,150151,300163,400175,500187,600199,700
Moderate Income127,100145,250163,400181,550196,050210,600225,100239,650

Source: 2021 HCD Income Limits

Households earning 30% of the area median income and below are considered Extremely Low Income (ELI), those earning between 31-50% of area median income are considered Very Low Income (VLI), those earning between 51-80% are considered Low Income (LI), and those earning between 80-120% are considered moderate income (MOD). Looking at the chart, you can see that a family of four earning between $73,150 and $103,900 would qualify for a 60% LI home.

Searching for Housing?

Santa Clara County has 270 income-restricted affordable rental developments, with a total of 27,780 units (Affordable Housing Online). There is no comprehensive list of affordable developments at this time, however the City of San Jose maintains a list of projects it has financed. Most of the developments have closed waiting lists, though a few have vacancies and a few have open waiting lists. Check out availability here.

Additional Resources

Photo: Paseo Senter, Charities Housing