What are BMR units in multifamily?

What are BMR units in Multifamily?

BMR units, or Below Market Rate units, in multifamily housing are apartments offered at reduced rental rates compared to market rates. These units are part of affordable housing initiatives to make housing more accessible to individuals and families with lower or moderate incomes. The concept is designed to help maintain economic diversity within communities by providing affordable living options in areas that might otherwise be too expensive for some residents.

Here are some key points about BMR units:

  1. Income Requirements: Eligibility for BMR units typically depends on the applicant's income level, which must fall within certain limits defined as a percentage of the area median income (AMI).
  2. Application Process: Access to BMR units usually involves a formal application process, which can include a lottery system due to high demand.
  3. Rent Calculation: The rent for BMR units is calculated based on a percentage of the tenant's income or set at a fixed rate below the market value to ensure affordability.
  4. Location: BMR units are often integrated into market-rate multifamily developments as a condition of development approvals. This integration helps promote mixed-income communities.
  5. Duration of Affordability: These units typically have restrictions on rent increases and may also include terms that keep the units affordable for a certain number of years, even if the property is sold.

BMR programs help maintain a balance in housing markets, especially in urban areas with high living costs, ensuring that essential workers and moderate-income families can live close to their places of employment and community services.

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