SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The City of East Palo Alto is turning to a new program to pair low-income homebuyers with available affordable housing.
Perched in a prime piece of real estate, inside the Comings Loft Condominiums, a one-bedroom one and a half bath that's garnering attention. It comes with a view —technically a view of the IKEA parking lot.
But what really turns heads is the asking price.
Comparable units are selling for the high six-figures, but this unit is just $177,000.
"It's that price because it's part of the city's below market rate program," said Duane Bay, executive director of EPA Can Do.
Started just this year, East Palo Alto's "Below Market Rate" ownership program, or BMR, pairs buyers making up to 60 percent of the area median income, with affordable housing. The unit inside Comings Loft had 101 interested parties. A lottery last week paired the list down to 60, most of whom are East Palo Alto residents looking to own.
"I'm surprised there weren't a thousand. Our intention is it to go to a member of the community. People who live here, work here. So we'll see how it plays out," said Bay.
EPA Can Do has about 100 properties that would be deemed affordable there's a sale. New properties are available when existing owners decide to sell below market rate, or when developers come in. The city mandates 20 percent of a new development be affordable housing.
The lottery ranked the finalists this property one through 60. Starting with number one, the process begins to see who gets the condo.
"If the family that ranked at the top of the lottery can qualify for a mortgage, it's their house," said Bay.
One family's dream means the remaining 59 would-be buyers must go back to their long search and try again for affordable housing, in the land of seven-figure housing sales.