Inclusionary Housing Program

Guided by San Francisco Planning Code Section 415, the Inclusionary Housing Program (also known as "Below-Market-Rate Program") aims to create housing affordable to low, moderate, and or middle income households in new buildings.

The program currently includes over 3,000 affordable units throughout San Francisco.

Housing developer requirement

When a housing developer proposes a residential project with 10 or more units, they must either:

  • Reserve a percentage of units in the new building to be rented or sold at a below market rate
  • Reserve a percentage of units in another building they build to be rented or sold at a below market rate
  • Pay a fee
  • In some cases, dedicate land that will become affordable housing
  • A combination of all the above

The San Francisco Planning Department works with housing developers to determine the number of reserved units or fees. MOHCD is brought on before the building can be occupied to price the units and oversee the marketing and application process. The application includes a public lottery for the units.

For more information refer to the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program Monitoring and Procedures Manuals.

Renters and buyers

  • Low, moderate, and middle-income renters and buyers apply for inclusionary housing and go through a lottery. For some rentals, there can also be a waitlist for move-in.
  • Both renters and buyers can only move in if they meet income and other requirements of the program.
  • Renters and buyers must use their new home as their primary residence and cannot rent out their home on platforms like Airbnb.

Apply for rentals on the DAHLIA San Francisco Housing Portal.

Read more about the homebuyer process.

Review Sample closing documents for ownership units


  • The Planning Department establishes the number of reserved units or the fee amount due as a part of the project approval process.
    • The reserved units or fees are conditions before issuing the first site and building permit.
    • The conditions are recorded as a "Notice of Special Restrictions"
  • At least 8 months before first Certificate of Occupancy can be issued, the developer contacts MOHCD.
    • MOHCD will establish pricing for the Inclusionary units.
    • MOHCD will work with the developer to market the Inclusionary units and hold a lottery for the units.

Review program information for developers and agents.

Program partners (lenders, realtors, rental leasing agents)

  • Lenders, realtors, and rental leasing agents must be familiar with relevant portions of the Inclusionary Housing Program.
  • Lenders, housing counselors, and rental leasing agents must be trained by MOHCD.

Review detailed program information for partners.

Last updated November 17, 2022