Determine if you can buy in the affordable housing program

What to do

Usually, you can apply for housing in the affordable homebuyer program if you meet all the criteria listed on this page.

1. You are a first-time homebuyer

You can not have owned any residential property anywhere within the last 3 years.

2. You are income-eligible

Your household's total pre-tax (gross) income does not exceed the San Francisco's Area Median Income (AMI) by household size and AMI percentage.

Income eligibility differs between properties, but generally, it's 100% AMI. (For 2024, 100% AMI for one person is $8741 per month.) Please see each BMR ownership listing or City Second listing for details.

3. You have completed homebuyer education approved by MOHCD

MOHCD-approved homebuyer education is a 2-hour free program orientation and 6-hours total of group workshops which are provided by organizations through

A housing counselor from the organization where you take the training will work with you 1-on-1 for 2 hours. They will review your financial history and determine your eligibility to apply. The counselors are familiar with our programs, and will help you plan and budget. You may select from the list of non-profit housing counseling agencies for homeownership.

See homebuyer education details and requirements, including how to register.

Read Homebuyer Education Requirement and FAQs for more information about homebuyer education requirements and frequently asked questions.

4. You are pre-approved for a mortgage loan by a MOHCD-approved lender

The lender you choose to work with will look at your financial situation, using up to:

  • 3 months of your most recent bank statements
  • 3 years of your most recent tax returns
  • 3 most recent paystubs

Your mortgage loan pre-approval letter must be dated within the past 120 days to apply for any homeownership listings.

See the current list of MOHCD-approved lenders for the Below Market Rate ownership program.

5. You have enough in savings for closing costs and a downpayment

Your housing counselor will help you figure out how much you need. Keep in mind that with mortgage payments, your unit will also have a monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee that may go up every year.

For detailed eligibility requirements, refer to the current Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program Monitoring and Procedures Manual (PDF). See the section titled "Below Market Rate (BMR) Homeownership Program."

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Last updated May 7, 2024