Shallow Subsidies

UCSF BHHI is leading the way in California when it comes to the implementation of shallow subsidies to prevent homelessness and housing insecurity.

The Oakland Shallow Subsidy pilot study is a targeted prevention effort in partnership with the Oakland Mayor’s Office and Bay Area Community Services (BACS). This longitudinal study aims to determine the impact of shallow subsidies on housing stability and homelessness prevention. 

Our research seeks to determine whether these subsidies are effective at reducing the incidence of homelessness as a targeted prevention intervention compared to one-time resources and whether they can be a tool for reducing racial disparities in those who become homeless.


This pilot study targets renters who have previously experienced homelessness and are now at risk for homelessness with an innovative model that provides a tailored subsidy designed to reduce rent burden by 25%. To continue our efforts in affirmatively addressing racial disparities and injustice, this pilot targets renters living in Oakland zip codes with the highest poverty, deprivation, and community stressor indices. 

Additional eligibility requirements include total household income at or below 30% Area Median Income (AMI) and at least 50% of monthly income paid to rent. The subsidies have both a “floor” and a “ceiling”—overall rent burdens will not drop below 50% of monthly income, and subsidies will be capped at $800 per month.

Study Contributors

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