Inclusionary Housing Program

Guided by San Francisco Planning Code Section 415, the Inclusionary Housing Program (also known as "Below-Market-Rate Program") aims to make housing more affordable to low or middle income residents in new buildings. When a housing developer proposes a housing 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. 

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 process, which includes a public lottery for the units. 

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

See current and past program manuals
Refer to the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program Monitoring and Procedures Manual

What the Inclusionary Housing Program means for...


  • The Planning Department establishes the number of reserved units or the fee amount due as a part of the project approval process.
  • Construction continues as planned.
  • 6 months to 1 year 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.

Developer pricing and marketing requirements

Paying the developer fee

Renters and Buyers

  • Low-income and middle-income renters and buyers apply for inclusionary housing and go through a lottery or waitlist for move-in.
  • Both renters and buyers can only move in if they meet credit history requirements and other requirements of the City and the building.
  • Renters and buyers must use their new home as their primary residence and cannot rent out their apartment on platforms like Airbnb.

Apply for rentals on DAHLIA

More about the homebuyer process


  • MOHCD only works with approved lenders for the homebuying process.
  • Lenders must be familiar with the program, since MOHCD is the second lender on the mortgage.
  • Approved lenders must go to annual training and pay a fee.
  • Lenders work with MOHCD rules to set the appropriate debt-to-income ratio for their buyers.

More information for lenders


  • Realtors work with owners who want to resell their Inclusionary Housing unit.
  • Realtors have to be familiar with the reselling process of the Inclusionary Housing Program, including:
    • Marketing rules
    • Lottery
    • Preferences
    • Pricing
    • Qualifications
    • Household size

More information for realtors

Rental Leasing Agents

  • Rental leasing agents must follow marketing guidelines for renting new and re-rental units.
  • Rental leasing agents must attend training before reviewing BMR applications

Requirements for rental agents or owners