Housing Preference Programs

For overall preference program information, please read the Housing Preferences and Lottery Procedures Manual: PDF iconPreferences Manual - 1.5.2017.pdf

The various housing preference programs are listed below with basic information. You may click on any of the first three to view more detailed information about that program.

Certificate of Preference Program (COP)

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. More Information and Search Request

Rent Burdened / Assisted Housing Preference

Many projects sponsored by the Office of Community Infrastructure Investment (OCII – formerly the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency) have Development and Disposition Agreements which include a preference for rent burdened San Francisco Households and assisted housing residents. This preference is not available for non-OCII projects. Rent Burdened Households and Assisted Housing Residents share a single lottery preference position (generally second position), meaning that Households with either of these preferences are included in a single preference pool. 

Displaced Tenant Housing Preference Program (DTHP)

In 2013, the Ellis Act Displacement Emergency Assistance Ordinance created a new preference in all City funded affordable housing programs for tenants who are displaced by an Ellis Act eviction. In 2015, the Board of Supervisors expanded the program to include tenants displaced by Owner Move In (OMI) evictions. In 2016, the program expanded further to include tenants displaced by fire. The program offers priority to displaced tenants for 20% of available affordable units in most new City funded affordable housing developments. More Information and Application

Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference (NRHP)

The Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference is designed to benefit residents living in the same neighborhood as projects containing city supported affordable housing units.  The preference applies only to new residential developments going through the initial lease-up or sale process and is limited to 40% of the units in the development. More Information

Anti-Displacement Housing Preference (ADHP)

The Anti-Displacement Housing Preference is designed to benefit residents living in neighborhoods undergoing extreme displacement pressure. Lottery preference will be given to households living in census tracts that have been identified as having the greatest risk of displacement. The preference applies only to new residential developments going through the initial lease-up or sale process and is limited to 40% of the units in the development. More information

Live or Work Preference

At least one household member must live in San Francisco or work in San Francisco at least 75% of their working hours for the live/work preference. To prove eligibility, one of the listed documents below must be submitted along with any housing application.

Proof Accepted for the Live in San Francisco Preference:

  • Telephone bill (land line only)
  • Cable or internet bill
  • Gas or Electric bill
  • Garbage bill
  • Water bill
  • Paystub (listing home address)
  • Public benefits record
  • School record

Proof Accepted for the Work in San Francisco Preference:

  • Paystub (showing employer address in San Francisco)
  • Letter from employer verifying employment in San Francisco with at least 75% of working hours in the City