About the Small Sites Program

The Small Sites Program helps prevent displacement and increases housing stability for all San Franciscans.


The Small Sites Program (SSP) supports local nonprofit sponsors with acquisition and preservation loans, stabilizing at-risk communities by converting rent-controlled properties to permanently affordable housing.


2022 Housing Preservation Program Guidelines Update

Friday, November 4, 2022:

Revisions to the Small Sites Program Guidelines were approved by the Citywide Affordable Housing Loan Committee on November 4, 2022. MOHCD would like to thank all Project Sponsors and Community Stakeholders for their valuable input during the guideline reform process. Read the summary of program revisions and responses to public comments.

Download the 2022 Small Sites Program Guidelines.

How the Small Sites Program works

  1. Tenant Participation – The first step in determining a building’s eligibility begins with its residents.  A project sponsor or Qualified Nonprofit, begin the assessment process by conducting an on-site tenant meeting where they will provide a program overview and explanation of program requirements.
  2. Eligibility Determination – Once a project sponsor has determined both tenant participation and building eligibility meet program requirements, a funding request in the form of a Project Application will be submitted to MOHCD before entering into a purchase agreement contract.  Project Applications will include proposed purchase price, estimated rehab needs and cost, proposed operating budget with rent schedule, along with an income eligibility assessment of each household.
  3. Building Rehabilitation – Building acquired under the Small Sites Program typically require moderate to major rehabilitation to address deferred maintenance and insure the property is safe and healthy for its residents.  Tenants may need to temporarily move out of the building during rehabilitation. If tenants do need to move, tenants will be moved to a similar apartment and the cost of moving will be covered by the project sponsor.
  4. Building Conversion – Buildings approved and converted to a Small Sites Program Site are no longer subject to the City’s Rent Board Ordinance. All tenants under the Small Sites Program are protected by federal and state fair housing laws which protects them from being treated unfairly based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin. Rents are reviewed each year to make sure that they are not raised higher than the annual limit which can vary from 2% to 3.5%. Because the building can only be used as affordable housing under the Small Sites Program, tenants will not displacement under Just Cause eviction protections.

Download the Small Sites Program FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).


Small Sites Program community partners

Contact a Qualified Nonprofit for more information about the Small Sites Program, or to nominate your building.

Last updated October 18, 2023