The top three lottery winners will proceed to the next step.  They must find a lender who can be approved by the City as an experienced lender for BMR purchases, and must qualify for a loan. EPACANDO and BAAHA have identified lenders who have extensive experience originating loans to buy BMR properties and are likely to merit City approval.

BMR Ownership Opportunity

2330 University Avenue*

East Palo Alto, 94303

2-Bedroom, 2-Bathroom | 980 Square Feet (per tax records)
Projected sales price: $261,800

*To maintain and respect privacy for the current owner, the unit number for the condominium will be provided after the purchase lottery is conducted.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements to purchase the EPA Below Market Rate home.

The minimum household size must be at least two people. All non-minor household members that are not dependents must be on title when the property is purchased. Qualifying dependents must be designated on 2019 federal tax returns.  

Financial Capacity

If you have any additional questions, please contact BAAHA by email at Please make certain to state that you are inquiring about the East Palo Alto BMR and provide us with your phone number. 

Occupancy of Home

Once a lottery-winning applicant has secured approval of a lender by the City and approval of a loan by the lender, EPACANDO and the City will review and make a determination on the applicant’s Program eligibility based on the eligibility requirements outlined above.

2330 University Avenue, East Palo Alto

All prospective homebuyers interested in purchasing the BMR condominium must submit a Lottery Application. The Lottery Application will be reviewed by BAAHA to provide a preliminary determination of the applicant’s Program eligibility and to establish the applicant’s Program preferences.  Lottery applicants will be notified by BAAHA as to whether BAAHA has determined them to be eligible for the lottery or not, and with which preferences.  Applicants will have an opportunity to appeal for reconsideration.  Applicants who pass the preliminary eligibility screening may participate in the lottery.  However, the preliminary screening does not provide Program approval for the applicant.  Top-ranked lottery applicants will be required to go through a comprehensive Program approval process. 

Your Next Step

Separate preference points are provided for the live and the work category. Work eligibility is based on your employer’s address, not your home address. Working at home due to COVID-19 does not fulfill the work in East Palo Alto preference requirements. 

For a household to qualify for a particular preference, only one member of the household needs to meet the requirement.

  1. Determine if you are interested in purchasing the  2330 University Avenue BMR.
    • Make certain to read and understand the implications of owning a BMR property. Click here to get a overview of BMR ownership.
    • Make certain you are interested in the property. EPACANDO suggests you drive by the location and view the layout and pictures of the condominium. Click here for a virtual tour of the property.
  2. Submit a BMR Lottery Application by 5:00 PM Friday, February 19, 2021:
    • ​​You can secure an electronic BMR application by clicking here, or by requesting an application by email at If you are requesting an application by email,  make certain to state that the application is for 2330 University Avenue in East Palo Alto. EPACANDO has contracted the Bay Area Homeownership Alliance (BAAHA) to assist with the BMR purchase and screening processes. BAAHA will contact you after reviewing your application, with any additional questions and to provide you a preliminary Program eligibility and preference determination. We urge that applicants immediately submit their application so that BAAHA has time to review and provide you feedback on your application and preference status.

The Purchase Process

First Lender Approval

A PDF copy of the BMR lottery applications, with comprehensive instructions, can be downloaded by clicking here. The application period will be open until 5:00 PM Friday, February 19, 2021. The lottery is projected to be held during the first week of March.  Read all the application instructions provided prior to filling it out. Incorrectly filled out or incomplete applications will be rejected.

East Palo Alto has established lottery preferences that promote ownership for first time homebuyers that reside and work in EPA. Preferences are not a requirement to apply. However, a preference scoring system will be applied in drawing and ranking priority applicants at the lottery.  Preferences include:

BMR Lottery Application

The household must demonstrate financial capacity to purchase the BMR. This will include:

  • Buyers must have funds for approximately 3% of the purchase price (approximately $7,850). Funds will be applied for down payment and closing costs. A minimum 1% down payment is required. All funds must be in a bank, trust, retirement, or investment account (no mattress money/cash is allowed). The buyer should also have approximately $4,000 in reserve funds after they close the purchase transaction. Gifts may be provided by first and second degree relatives.
  • Minimum FICO score of 640 for all borrowers involved in the purchase. Non-occupying co-signers are not allowed.
  • The cost of owning the home in combination with your current monthly personal debt service cannot exceed 45% of your gross earnings.

HUD-Approved Homebuyer Education


The City of East Palo Alto (EPA) contracts with a local non-profit housing agency, EPACANDO, to administer their BMR Program. EPACANDO works directly with the Bay Area Affordable Homeownership Alliance (BAAHA), to assist in the sale of the EPA BMR. BAAHA is involved with conducting all BMR application screening, lottery, and sales activities. If you have any additional questions related to the sale of this EPA BMR, please contact BAAHA ( by email at

Minimum Household Size

Below Market Rate Homeownership

Questions and More Information


by 5:00 PM Friday

February 19, 2021

Bay Area Affordable Homeownership Alliance

Live and/or Work in the City of East Palo Alto

Program Lottery Preferences

BMR Lottery

Viewing the Property

Purchase Contract and Close of Escrow

Applicants must be first time homebuyers. To be a first time homebuyer, all members in the household may not have owned a real property in the past three years (from the time you submit your lottery application).

70% Area Median Income is based on the income limits provided by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (CDHCD).

All household members on title must complete a HUD approved homebuyer education course to purchase the East Palo Alto BMR unit. Click here to access sources to complete your approved education requirements. We also encourage applicants to conduct your own search for HUD approved homebuyer education courses on the internet.  A certificate of course-completion is not a requirement to apply for the lottery, but is a requirement for purchase.

Viewing protocols have been established to maintain industry-established COVID-19 safety requirements: 

A virtual 3D tour of the exterior and interior of the property is available by clicking here. To maintain and respect privacy for the current owner, the unit number for the condominium will be provided to lottery winners, after the lottery is conducted. The highest ranked lottery winners will be able to visit and view the property prior to entering into a purchase contract.

Below Market Rate (BMR) homeownership comes with restrictions and responsibilities that BMR owners must adhere to. Restrictions on the BMR will be in place for a fifty-five (55) year term which commences on the date of purchase. Primary restrictions during the restriction period include:

  • The BMR must be sold at an affordable resale price that EPA assigns at the time of the resale.
  • The BMR must be sold to an eligible buyer whom the city must approve.
  • There are refinance guidelines and restrictions. All refinances must be approved by EPA.
  • The property must be maintained in good condition at all times.
  • There are strict restrictions that disallow the property to be rented out.
  • There are guidelines and restrictions in passing title to an heir and any other non-BMR Program approved individual(s).

To read more about BMR home ownership, click here.

Ownership of the BMR home requires that a household’s gross combined income may not exceed 70% of San Mateo County’s Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for household size. Maximum income allowances per household size are as follows:

City Program Approval

First Time Homebuyer

Program Eligibility Requirements

Maximum Income Allowance

The property may not be purchased as a rental property. The owner(s) of the home must be a full time resident(s) who occupy the home as their primary home.

Plan of the available BMR unit at 2330 University Ave in East Palo Alto.

At this point in the process, with all approvals in place, the applicant will submit a purchase contract to the BMR seller. Once a purchase contract is signed, it will take approximately 45 days to close the purchase escrow, to actually buy the BMR home