Apply for a First Responder or Educator loan to buy a home

SFUSD, Police, Fire, and Sheriff staff can borrow up to $500,000 as a down payment to buy a market-rate home.

What to do

Purchasing, review, and closing may take 5 months or longer.

1. Check if you can apply as a first responder or educator

You can apply as a first responder if you are an active uniformed, sworn member of any of San Francisco’s:

  • Police Department (SFPD)
  • Fire Department (SFFD)
  • Sheriff’s Department (SFSD)

You can apply as an educator if you are currently employed with SFUSD, including the Early Education department. This includes United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) members, like:

  • Teachers
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Counselors
  • Deans
  • Nurses
  • Speech pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Behavioral analysts
  • Social workers
  • Special education
  • Content specialists
  • Librarians

2. Check income and residency requirements

The amount you can borrow depends on how much you need.

You can’t have owned any residential property in San Francisco within the last 3 years. 

Your household must make under a certain amount. The maximum amount depends on the number of people in your household.

  • For 1 person, $194,000
  • For 2 people, $221,700
  • For 3 people, $249,400
  • For 4 people, $277,100
  • For 5 people, $299,300

Before you apply, you must attend homebuyer education and get a mortgage loan pre-approval letter from an approved lender.

3. Apply for the lottery

You will need the following documents:

  • Paystub or letter from your employer, listing your job title
  • Loan pre-approval letter, dated within the past 120 days
  • Verification of homebuyer education, dated within the past year

Applications from the general public, first responders, and educators will go into the same lottery.

Do not submit another application as a member of the general public. If you do, all your applications may be removed from the lottery.

2023 DALP coming soon! Sign up for the MOHCD mailing list to get instant updates on the 2023 DALP. 

After you apply

  1. If you apply by the deadline, you will receive a lottery number. We will process applications based on lottery rank order. Read more about the DALP lottery
  2. If we get to your application, you will need to fill out a more detailed form and provide more paperwork.
  3. If we determine you’re income-eligible, we will issue a pre-approval letter and reserve the funds for you. You have 90 days to enter a sales contract for any property on the open market.
  4. Your lender has 30 days to submit the loan packet. We’ll take 15 days to review.
  5. We will issue you a loan commitment letter. The letter allows 30 days to close the sale. At closing, you pay a DALP program fee as part of your closing costs. 

Pay back the loan when you sell your home

The DALP is a silent second loan that requires no monthly payments. 

You can sell your home at market-rate prices. When you sell, you will pay back the principal amount, plus an equitable share of appreciation. See detailed loan terms.

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Last updated March 29, 2024