Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference?

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.

How does the Neighborhood Resident Preference help me get housing?

San Francisco’s affordable housing lotteries are very competitive with many eligible applicants for each available unit.  The Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference improves the chances for residents of the area around the project by ensuring that 40% of the available units are first offered to neighborhood residents.  Applicants who qualify for the preference will be included in a special lottery pool from which residents will be selected for these units. Once 40% of the units are filled from the Neighborhood Preference pool any additional neighborhood residents will be included among other applicants from outside the neighborhood for consideration for the remaining units.

Eligibility for neighborhood preference does not guarantee that the holder will be eligible for a City Affordable Housing unit. All applicants will still be required to meet all other eligibility requirements of the unit (e.g. income eligibility, household size requirements, etc.).

Who is eligible for the preference?

To be eligible for the neighborhood preference, there must be at least one member of your household who, at the time of application submission, has a primary residence that is located within the same Supervisorial District as the project or within a ½ mile buffer around the location of the project.

How do I apply for the Preference?

Applying for the preference is as simple as checking the Neighborhood Resident box on the Lottery Application form and providing proof of occupancy. MOHCD will use its Geographic Information System (GIS) to verify whether your addresses qualifies and will post a list of applicants who qualify before the lottery.

How do I know what Supervisorial District I live in?

If you are not sure which supervisorial district your home is located in, you can look up your address on the Planning Department’s mapping system online at:

What if I am not sure whether my address is within ½ mile of a project?

If you are not sure whether your address is within the ½ mile buffer surrounding a project, you can check the box to indicate that you believe that you may be eligible. Before the lottery MOHCD will determine whether your address is within the buffer and include you on the list of applicants who qualified for the preference if it is. MOHCD will post a list of all applicants indicating whether or not they are eligible for the NRHP one week before each lottery in which NRHP applies. The NRHP applicant eligibility list will be added to the online listing for the project. If it turns out that your address does not qualify you for the preference, you will still be included in the general lottery pool and in the preference pool for any other preferences for which you qualify.

What documentation do I need to prove I am a neighborhood resident?

In order to benefit from the neighborhood preference an applicant must provide documentation at the time of their application submission to show that they live in the neighborhood. Applicants that do not submit documentation or whose documentation is not current will not be eligible for the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference.

Acceptable documentation must include any one (1) of the following:

  • Telephone bill (land line only)
  • Cable or internet bill
  • Gas bill
  • Electric bill
  • Garbage bill
  • Water Bill
  • Paystub
  • Public benefits records (e.g. SSI/SSP, MediCal, GA, Unemployment Insurance, CalFresh)
  • School records

All documentation must list the applicant’s name and current address and be dated within 45 days of the date of the application.

In the event that MOHCD determines that any applicant has provided falsified documentation of any kind, the application will be disqualified, removed from consideration and will not be included in the lottery.

Will I get a preference for ALL new affordable housing built in my neighborhood?

No. New developments with fewer than 5 city supported affordable units are not required to provide the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference. In addition, some projects may have financing that prohibits the use of neighborhood preferences. The NRHP only applies to new projects when they are initially leasing or selling units in the building.

How do I get more information about the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference?

MOHCD does not take walk-in appointments to discuss the NRHP program. Staff will readily assist you by phone or email. Please contact MOHCD at (415) 701-5613, via TDD at (415) 701-5503 or email at