Affordable Housing


City of Redwood City Affordable Housing Plan

The City of Redwood City offers a number of programs and services to support housing for all income levels. 

1. Invest In Creating More Affordable Housing

2. Help Residents Find or Locate Affordable Housing

3. Keep Homes in Redwood City Affordable Through Housing Rehabilitation Grants and Programs


Creating Affordable Housing

The City of Redwood City has invested and produced 774 units of Below Market Rate (BMR) units of which 598 are rental and 176 are ownership units. All 774 units are deed restricted as BMR for 25 - 55 years. Redwood City has assisted with the rehabilitation of 2,800 homes owned or owner occupied by lower income residents, of which 2,500 are multi-family units, and 500 are single-family units.

Redwood City voters adopted a Utility Users Tax (UUT) in 1988. Funds from the UUT are dedicated to the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP). In the 2015-16 CIP budget, this line item was $750,000 to further the City's existing affordable housing fund.

The City of Redwood City recently approved investing in new affordable housing developments by awarding $1.5 million to Habitat for Humanity to construct 20 units of ownership housing in downtown Redwood City. This will be Habitat's fourth project in Redwood City.

The City awarded $1.2M in CDBG and HOME grants this year. The Council established a 5-year plan that will award over $4 million in grants over this time period.

October 26th City Council Meeting and Affordable Housing Proposals

The City council will review or consider taking action on five affordable housing items, including: 

  • Gaining a preview of downtown affordable housing and park proposals on City owned land, known as the Bradford lot
  • Adopting of affordable housing impact fees
  • Collecting AirBNB Transient Occupancy Tax and dedicating funds toward affordable housing
  • Initiating of General Plan amendment to require production of downtown affordable units within the first phase of the downtown Precise Plan
  • Expanding the Accessory Dwelling Units ordinance to increase flexibility to add a second living unit on properties that have a single-family residence

Preview of Downtown Affordable Housing and Park Proposal on City owned Bradford lot 

Earlier this year, the Council dedicated an acre of downtown City-owned land towards the production of affordable housing. A Request for Proposals was issued to non-profit housing developers and 7 responses were received ranging from 56-137 affordable units. All the developments include 100% of affordable housing, a park and a ground floor childcare center. A preview of these developments was presented to Council on October 26, 2015. To view more information about the Bradford proposals and visit the following page:

Adoption of Affordable Housing Impact Fees 

As part of the City's community benefits framework, also known as Partnership Redwood City, which generates fees from development to support city programs and services, the Council directed staff to bring forward a housing and commercial development impact fee to Council for approval. The City took part in a County-wide "nexus study" which will allow the Council to legally adopt the fee. The funds collected will be put towards the construction of deed restricted affordable housing. City staff is recommending adoption of a $20 per sq. ft. fee for market rate residential and office developments. A lesser fee would be applied to retail ($5 sf) and hotel ($5 sq. ft.) developments.

Increasing Flexibilty to Add Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) In Redwood City

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka secondary unit, in-law unit, granny flat, backyard cottage) is a smaller living unit on a property that has a single-family residence. These units provide for an additional housing option, which is typically more affordable than other types of housing. While the City has allowed ADUs for a number of years, the Council will consider revisions to the ordinance to allow for greater flexibility.