Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am looking for low-income or affordable rental housing, where do I go or how do I apply?

Answer: The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) publishes available Below Market Rate units on our website; click here to view the information: Resources for Affordable Rental Housing in San Francisco
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2. I am a homeless person, and I need help finding a shelter or very low income housing – where can I go to get help or find more information?

Answer: There are many agencies within the City and County of San Francisco that assists with homeless – you can contact one of the following agencies listed below click the agency name to view their site:

 

3. I am not certain if I am a Certificate of Preference (COP) holder or I’ve lost a copy of my COP certificate, how can I verify my eligibility or request for a copy?

Answer: Please call the COP hotline (415) 701-5613. Please review the Certificate of Preference website for more information. 

 

4. I am looking for a BMR unit to purchase, what is the first step for me to apply? Where can I get an application?

Answer: The first step in applying for a BMR or Below Market Rate for sale unit is by attending and completing a first-time homebuyer workshop and one-on-one counseling conducted by one of the participating non-profit housing counseling agencies listed here: www.homeownershipsf.org. You must contact the participating agency directly to sign-up for the workshop and one-on-one counseling.

The next step is to select a unit which you may qualify for listed on our website. To view current listings, click here: Current BMR Listings. Then, you must obtain a mortgage loan pre-approval from a MOHCD participating loan officer (the list of lenders can be viewed here: Participating Mortgage Lender list). Your housing counselor and the seller’s sales representative/realtor can guide you through the homebuying process.

 

5. I am a homeowner and my unit is part of the MOHCD BMR or former SFRA limited equity program, I would like to re-sell the unit, how can I do this?

Answer: To re-sell a BMR or Limited Equity Program homeownership unit, the homeowner must work with a Realtor. The homeowner’s Realtor will need to submit the following to MOHCD, attention BMR program, 1 S. Van Ness Ave. 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103:

a) A listing agreement. Please leave the sales price blank temporarily, as a member of MOHCD will need to calculate the maximum re-sale sale price and return to the seller and the Realtor after receiving a formal request.

b) A signed and dated physical letter from the homeowner indicating their intention to sell the unit. Please include the current amount of the monthly HOA dues in the letter.

Next steps instructions will be provided by a member of MOHCD homeownership programs team after the above items have been furnished. To review the process, click here: BMR Resale Process. 

 

6. I would like to refinance my first mortgage loan – who can I talk to and how do I begin the process?

Answer: The first step is for you to find a participating loan officer listed on our website: Participating Mortgage Lender list. We suggest for you to begin with your first mortgage lender.

Your loan officer will guide you with the refinance process and submit a refinance or subordination package on your behalf. If you have any additional questions – you or your loan officer may contact the Subordination Unit here at MOHCD by calling (415) 701-5500. You may also view the FAQ page for Refinances / Subordinations.

IMPORTANT: If you are at risk of foreclosure or if you need help in applying for a loan modification or hardship program extended to those at risk of foreclosure – you must review the following link in our website: Foreclosure Resources

 

7. I would like to pay-off my loan with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development or the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) associated with my home, how do I do this?

Answer: Please call the Subordination and Loan Servicing Unit at (415) 701-5500.

 

8. I am a mortgage loan officer assisting a homeowner, but I am not your lender list – can I submit a loan application or refinance application?

Answer: No. Only a participating mortgage loan officer may submit lender forms to our office. To become a participating lender, click here: Lender Workshop and Training. Reminder: Not every lender can lend to a MOHCD BMR administered unit with restrictions which survive foreclosure.

 

9. I am a licensed Real Estate Appraiser, I need a list of comparable BMR units for a homeowner who is selling or refinancing, who can give this information to me?

Answer: MOHCD does not require BMR-to-BMR comparables in appraisal reports. If a lender requires this, the appraiser can check our website for recent listings, which can be viewed here: Current BMR Listings. Each BMR unit is priced independently and will vary from the time when they were purchased to the time they are sold according to the AMI levels and other factors. A BMR comp is not useful for our office.

 

10. I would like to apply for DALP down payment assistance loan, how can I apply?

Answer: The first step in applying for DALP or down payment assistance loan program unit is by attending and completing a first-time homebuyer workshop and one-on-one counseling conducted by one of the participating non-profit housing counseling agencies listed here: www.homeownershipsf.org. You must contact the participating agency directly to sign-up for the workshop and one-on-one counseling.

The next step is to select a unit which you may qualify, get a mortgage loan pre-approval from a participating loan officer listed on our website (the list of lenders can be viewed here: Participating Mortgage Lender list). Your mortgage lender will guide you with the DALP application process; your housing counselor and your Realtor can guide you with the remainder of the homebuying and escrow closing process.

 

11. I live in a building with BMRs, my neighbor who owns / rents a BMR is sub-leasing the unit or a bedroom, who can I report that to?

Answer: Please call our office at (415) 701-5500 or submit a letter to our office, MOHCD, attention BMR Program, 1 S. Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103. The letter can be made anonymous, but please do include the property address you are reporting, as well as the condominium unit or apartment number. A member of our monitoring team will investigate the inquiry and take the necessary actions to correct and ensure that the BMR unit is owner occupied or occupied by the approved tenants.

 

12. I need to change the Title on my BMR unit because my partner/wife/husband and I divorced, how can I get this done?

Answer: You must submit a signed and dated letter to MOHCD, attention BMR Program, 1 S. Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103. All adult members of the household who holds Title must sign and date a physical letter with consent to remove one member from Title. You must attach a copy of a legal separation document or divorce decree.

Title changes are limited to death, divorce or dissolution of marriage. To add, only the following will be allowed: Marriage or State domestic partnership.

 

13. I need a copy of my Promissory Note and/or Deed of Trust for my unit or loan with the City, who can I speak to request for a copy?

Answer: You must begin searching from your own files. A copy of Promissory Note and Deed of Trust attached to a property is given to a homebuyer by an escrow officer upon a homebuyer’s signing of documents during purchase of a house. You must retain these documents in a safe place including your first mortgage loan and insurance documents.

Recorded documents including Deed of Trusts are also available at the San Francisco Assessor Recorder’s Office: www.sfassessor.org

A copy of a borrower’s promissory note for a City Administered unit will only be released upon submission of a written, signed and dated request to MOHCD, attention Homeownership Programs at 1 S. Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103. You must allow 7-10 business days for MOHCD staff member to respond, as our office will need to conduct an archive search.

 

14. I am a property manager for a building with BMR rental units, I need to list or publish a unit that recently became vacant; who can I submit this request to? What is the process?

Answer: You must review our BMR re-rental process and follow the steps, which can be viewed here: BMR Re-rental Process.

 

15. I am a Realtor, and I have a client interested in purchasing a BMR unit, who can I talk to about a specific BMR unit that is advertised on the MLS or on the MOHCD website?

Answer: You must contact the Realtor listed in the advertisement or MLS. The Realtor must give you or the applicant a copy of the BMR application and guide you and the applicant about the application process. The homebuyer must have a first-time homebuyer certificate and a mortgage loan pre-approval from a participating lender.

 

16. I saw a house or a condominium unit somewhere and I need to know if it has restrictions or liens from MOHCD. How can I find out or who can I talk to about this?

Answer: The best way to find out if a property has any restrictions or liens is to contact a Title Company and review a Title report. You must also review the legal map description, any declarations of restrictions and liens.

 

17. What's the difference between the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development and the Housing Authority? The Rent Stabilization Board? The City Planning Department?

Answer: The Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development is the City's housing finance agency, providing financing for development of rental housing and for first time homebuyers.

The San Francisco Housing Authority administers the rental of public housing and the Section 8 voucher program of rental assistance for privately owned housing.

The San Francisco Rent Board oversees the City's rent control ordinance and handles complaints about rent increases and evictions.

The San Francisco Planning Department regulates the development and use of the City's land in accordance with the Planning Code and the decisions of the Planning Commission regarding specific project requirements.

 

 You may submit other inquiries by email to sfhousinginfo@sfgov.org or call (415) 701-5500.