Homeowner Emergency Loan Program (HELP)

HELP loans are for San Francisco homeowners in need of a one-time emergency financial assistance loan due to an unforeseen financial hardship.

What to do

1. Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency

Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency to go over your options and help you with the application packet.

  • Check our list of HUD-approved agencies.
  • Your counselor will help you create a budget and action plan.
  • Your counselor must exhaust all other possible options before applying for HELP.
    • This may include negotiating on your behalf, with your first mortgage lender or HOA and assisting you in applying for other available programs.

2. Complete a HELP application with your HUD-approved counselor

3. Collect all supporting documentation and save as one PDF

Work with your HUD-approved counselor to compile the application form and all required supporting documentation into one PDF file. Name the PDF file "Property Address-Last Name, First Name" (Example: 123 Sample Street-Smith, John).

4. Have your HUD-approved counselor upload your application package

Work with your HUD-approved counselor to submit your application and all required documents in one PDF file.

5. After your counselor submits your application package

After you apply MOHCD will review your application and supporting documentation, pull a credit report on all owners, and determine your eligibility for HELP.

6. Work with MOHCD to complete, sign, and record loan documents

  • MOHCD will open an escrow account for all payments to be made through escrow.
  • MOHCD will provide a commitment letter with full loan documents for you to review.
  • Execute all closing documents.
  • Record documents, disburse loan funds, and close loan.

HELP loan eligibility and forms

You can apply for HELP if you:

  • Own and occupy a property with 1-4 units.
    • The property must be free of liens such as delinquent taxes, judgments, and mechanics liens.
  • Are able to document a financial hardship that is affecting your ability to cover your past due amount and therefore are in need of HELP.
  • Can demonstrate financial capacity to continue paying all housing costs after receiving HELP.  Post HELP PITA DTI cannot exceed 40%.
  • Have equity in your home.
  • Have limited liquid assets.
  • Be at or below 120% of AMI for your household size (derived from the Unadjusted Area Median Income (AMI) for HUD Metro Fair Market Rent Area (HMFA) that Contains San Francisco):
    • For a 1 person household, 120% AMI in 2024 is $125,900
    • For a 2 person household, 120% AMI in 2024 is $143,900
    • For a 3 person household, 120% AMI in 2024 is $161,800
    • For a 4 person household, 120% AMI in 2024 is $179,800

HELP Forms
For housing counselor reference

Last updated May 7, 2024