Certificate of Preference

What is a Certificate of Preference?

Certificate of Preference is a document issued by the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (“Agency”) to displaced residents and businesses in the1960’s when the Agency was implementing its federally-funded urban renewal program. MOHCD now administers this program. MOHCD is not the Housing Authority, nor does MOHCD administer the Section 8 program. This Certificate gives such households preferential consideration for MOHCD-funded housing projects and former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency funded housing projects.

Certificates of Preference were issued to households that were displaced by Redevelopment Agency activity in the 1960's and early 1970's, specifically in the Western Addition and in Hunters Point. MOHCD maintains a mailing list of all households in this program. For additional information, see below or call the Certificate hotline at 415-701-5613. If you believe that you are entitled to such a Certificate or if you are a Certificate holder who has not been receiving special mailings, please contact Brooke Barber at 415-701-5560.

NOTE: A Homebuyer Education Certificate from an approved housing counseling organization is NOT a Certificate of Preference.

COP Second Loan Program

LOAN PROGRAM: MOHCD has also launched the COP Second Loan Program to assist Certificate of Preference holders who were displaced from the Western Addition and Bayview Hunters with the purchase of their first home. Please call 415-701-5500 for more information.

Certificate of Preference Program More Detailed Information

You may find the documents below helpful in learning more about the Certificate of Preference Program. The first document is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Certificate Program with answers. The second document is the formal set of Certificate of Preference Program Rules adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Commission.

How to Request a Certificate of Preference Search

If you would like someone to contact you about the Certificate Program, please complete the online form with as much information as possible, including the address from which your family was displaced (if known), parents' names if they were the heads of household, etc. No entity or organization other than MOHCD is authorized to check eligibility for a Certificate of Preference, or to grant a Certificate of Preference. There are always a large number of requests, and searches are conducted in the order they are received. Incomplete information, misspelled names, and wrong addresses can delay the results of a search. Please click here to submit an online form.

If you do no want to use the online form, you may print out, then fill in a Certificate of Preference Search Request (PDF) form and send it to MOHCD to request information about your specific situation (instructions and address appear on the request form).