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


SHELTER, Inc.’s Supportive Service for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program is excited to announce new funding to support a new housing subsidy service for Veterans in Contra Costa County! The SSVF Program will provide rental assistance payments to landlords on behalf of the Veteran household for a period of 24-months to very low-income and extremely low-incomes. The rental assistance is at a fixed rate every month, covering a certain percentage of the rent (35%), regardless of changes in the Veteran household’s income or monthly rent amount. SHELTER, Inc. is excited to now be able to offer this to SSVF Participants as it expands the length of time and amount of rental assistance applied, and allows Veterans more time to achieve long term housing stability. This subsidy can also be combined with state and local housing subsidies. If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at-risk of homelessness (i.e. behind on rent), please have them reach out to SHELTER, Inc.’s SSVF program today at 925-957-7592 for assistance!

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 up 80% of rent reimbursement for unpaid rent incurred dating back to April 1, 2020. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided over $75 million in funding to Contra Costa County established through the State of CA 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 here), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance. Both landlords and tenants can verify eligibility and apply for assistance by visiting HousingIsKey.com, or by calling 833‐430‐2122. In Contra Costa County, the following providers will be able to support tenants and landlord access these funds:

Events: Workshops and Webinars

CA COVID-19 Rental Assistance – Housing is Key Webinar
September 13, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT
Join Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services to learn more about California's COVID-19 newest rental assistance program - Housing is Key. At this webinar, staff will review the application overview and eligibility criteria for landlords and renters. Click here to register.

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER WORKSHOPS: September 18 and 25, 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


Satellite Affordable Housing Associates
has several open waitlists for properties located in Berkeley. For details about each opportunity, including application deadlines, please visit https://www.sahahomes.org/apply.

The Housing Authority of the County of Contra Costa will be opening the Project Based Voucher Waiting List for one property located in the City of Richmond. This opening is NOT for the Housing Choice Voucher Program but for Project Based Voucher assisted units in this one property ONLY. The Terraces Senior Apartments is accepting applications for Studio to 4 Bedroom units located at 2100 Nevin Avenue in Richmond, CA. THE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD OR SPOUSE MUST BE 62 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER TO APPLY. APPLICATIONS FROM NON-ELDERLY APPLICANTS WILL BE REJECTED.

The flyers in English and Spanish provide the details for the opening. This opening is from 10 AM on August 2 and will be open on an on-going basis until further notice. There are units available for leasing and this is a critical opportunity for applicants to be considered for immediate housing. Once fully-occupied, applicants will have to wait, in some cases, possibly years until the next opportunity presents itself.

The opening will only be an electronic format and no paper applications will be available. Reasonable Accommodations for elderly or disabled clients can be made for anyone needing individual assistance either by telephone – 925.957.7001 - or at the Housing Authority of the County of Contra Costa office – 2870 Howe Road Martinez, CA 94553.

September 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)