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Affordable Housing

The city is required by state law to provide affordable housing (affordable housing map) for all income groups - very low, low, moderate and upper income. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets yearly income limits that determine eligibility for assisted housing programs including the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and affordable housing developments based on median family income estimates and fair market rent area definitions for each metropolitan area.  (Income limits and rents are determined according to each development's financing and the rules that pertain to that financing.).

Affordable Housing Rental Applications and Waitlists

Each of the City of Carlsbad's affordable rental complexes maintain their own applications and waitlists.  Please view the map link and contact the management team at the complexes you are interested to inquire about their application process and/or waitlist.

Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

The City of Carlsbad has several programs which have been designed to increase affordable housing opportunities for lower income households. The signature program is Carlsbad's mandatory inclusionary housing program. This program requires housing developers to provide 15 percent of their total units as affordable to low income households. Since this requirement was set forth by ordinance in 1993, the city has experienced the successful construction of over 2000 units of housing affordable to low, very low and extremely low income households.

Affordable Housing for Sale

Currently, we do not have any developments that are selling affordable units.  We will update this site once we do.  Buyers must be from low-income households and be able to show that they will not be paying more than 35% of their income on housing costs for their new home.

Proposed Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee

For information regarding this proposed fee, which would be applicable to new market-rate rental housing, please visit the Housing Commission page.


In the past couple of years, in response to increasing concerns about homelessness in the City of Carlsbad, city staff have enhanced efforts to assist those in need of housing and reduce the impacts of homelessness on the community. The Carlsbad City Council approved a multi-departmental Homeless Response Plan in 2017 that takes a “compassionate enforcement” approach to this regionwide problem. 


The Municipal Code for the City of Carlsbad.