Hayward is a mid-sized city of 150,000 about halfway down the East Bay. Because of the distance from San Francisco, it has been slower to experience the demand in rental housing that’s sent prices soaring in other communities. The result is that Hayward is still more affordable, more family-oriented, with higher demand for larger units than other area cities.
Hayward started as a farming community, grew steadily in the 1800s, then was nearly leveled by a great earthquake in 1868. The Hayward Fault still runs through town but has been silent for the past 150 years. (Phew!) The canneries that sprung up around the fields and orchards are now gone. But Hayward’s location and easy access to the state’s highways has made it a prime location for industry, particularly in the food and beverage sector.
Hayward is home to Cal State East Bay, which has 15,000 students (many of them renters!), a nearly 30 percent increase in enrollment since 2010. It has been recognized as the most diverse university in California, befitting the demographics of Hayward, which has large and growing ethnic communities (For example, nearly 10 percent of Hayward’s population is of Filipino descent.).
Hayward amended its rent-control ordinance last year exempting older units that were actively financed or insured by federal, state or local agencies from being covered under the ordinance. The change only impacts about 300 units in the city.
Last year, voters approved levying a local sales tax of up to 15 percent on the sale of marijuana. The proceeds will go into the general fund. Two years earlier, they approved a half-cent increase in the sales tax.
What you need to know:
- Hayward’s rent-control ordinance allows for annual increases of up to 5 percent without documentation.
- Landlords can bank unused increases, up to an additional 5 percent.
- Hayward’s eviction process is more streamlined than the process in many other Bay communities. Once a lease ends, for example, no just cause is needed for evictions.
- Redevelopment, including higher-density projects, is coming to Hayward. Not surprisingly, many of these are near the two BART stations.
- Hayward has a separate ordinance for mobile homes:
By the numbers
Hayward’s housing market, unlike Oakland or San Francisco, is more evenly split between renters and homeowners, with about 47 percent of residents renting. The market is more family oriented, with an average of more than three people per household, according to U.S. Census figures.
The stock of rental housing has stayed essentially the same for the past 15 years, at about 23,000 units. And about half the rental units are single-family houses, which testify to Hayward’s suburban character.
But more apartments are coming. Dollinger Properties is planning to redevelop the old Mervyn’s site on Hazel Boulevard into retail and 476 market-rate apartments. And AMCAL is building 206 market-rate apartments near the South Hayward BART station, sharing some facilities with affordable-housing developer Eden Housing.
The average one-bedroom apartment in Hayward rents for $1,780 a month, roughly equivalent to the average statewide cost of $1,750. Newer units near Cal State tend to run a little higher, closer to $1,800 a month. For top-of-the line units close to the two BART stations, monthly rents can exceed $2,500.
Rental Housing Association serving Southern Alameda County:
Hayward City Attorney’s office: