Frequently Asked Questions

Which affordable rental communities are owned by the City of Irvine?
The City of Irvine does not own or operate any affordable rental communities. Through the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, the City requires that developers either provide affordable housing on-site or pay in lieu fees so that affordable housing units may be constructed elsewhere. The affordable units constructed through these arrangements remain in private hands, and each property maintains its own waiting list. Visit the Interactive Affordable Housing Map for details on the properties that include affordable dwelling units.  

What is an interest list?
An interest list is a way for prospective residents to learn about a new affordable rental community that is still under construction. Developers typically open an interest list when their project is nearly finished with construction. Although the exact process and timeline can vary, most interest lists are open for between 45 and 60 days, and if you sign up for an interest list before it closes, you will usually be entered into a lottery for the new affordable rental units in that building.

How will I know when a future/upcoming affordable complex opens its interest list?
Developers will notify the City when they are planning to open an interest list. City staff will post that information on the Construction Update for Future Affordable Housing page. You may wish to bookmark that webpage and check it regularly to see if there have been any recent updates. Alternatively, you can sign up to receive affordable housing-related news from the City of Irvine, including notification of upcoming interest lists. Please note that if you sign up to receive these email updates, you are NOT joining an interest list or adding your name to a waiting list; you are signing up to receive news and information. To avoid missing any open interest lists, be sure to check your email account regularly and update your contact information if anything changes. If you wish to receive these informational updates, you may sign up here.

What is a waiting list?
A waiting list is a first-come-first served list of individuals/families that are interested in living in a particular building. As affordable dwelling units become available, leasing office staff will contact the next individual or individuals on the waiting list and invite them to submit an application. At that time, leasing office staff will review available income documentation to determine eligibility.

How long can I expect to remain on a waiting list?
Each affordable rental complex maintains its own waiting list. There may be separate waiting lists for units at different income levels, and one waiting list may be longer than others. Typically, waiting lists are longest for extremely-low and very-low income units, and waiting lists are shortest for moderate-income units. Please note that many buildings have waiting lists that are several years long, and few properties may be accepting new waiting list applications. Contact the buildings directly to inquire about waiting list status.

I have a Housing Choice Voucher. How can I find out which apartment buildings accept vouchers?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is administered by the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA). The City of Irvine does not have access to OCHA’s property listings. Contact OCHA at 714-480-2700 to find out what type of resources may be available for voucher holders.  

I need help paying my rent. What resources are available?
Several local nonprofits may sometimes be able to assist with rent and utility payments. Visit the Affordable Housing Resources page to learn more about these options and contact the organizations directly to find out what programs may currently be available.