How we develop affordable rental housing​ with direct public funds

MOHCD makes loans and grants to build new or preserve existing affordable housing.

Our 100% affordable rental housing is:

  • Affordable at rents well below market rate
  • Typically rented at affordable rates to households earning between 40% of Area Median Income (AMI) and 80% AMI
  • In some cases, apartments are affordable to households earning up to 120% AMI
  • Often targeted to different populations, such as:
    • Low-income families
    • Homeless individuals
    • Low-income seniors

For all developments, every tenant household must meet income requirements and go through a lottery process.

Applying for housing development funds

When MOHCD has funding available, we announce a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Any respondents to a NOFA must submit a standard application and a full project proposal, which includes:

  • The proposed building location and a description of why it would be good for affordable housing
  • The proposed number of apartments
  • The proposed affordability level and who the apartments would serve (e.g., families, seniors, people experiencing homelessness, etc.)
  • What level of financial assistance the developer requires from MOHCD

When MOHCD controls a specific site to build on, we may also issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Qualifications (RFQ).

MOHCD-funded developments fall into three different categories:


New Construction

MOHCD funds the construction of new multifamily rental homes. These homes serve low- and moderate-income households earning up to 120% AMI.

Special populations are served, including:

  • Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
    • Seniors are defined as 62 years or older
    • “Persons with disabilities” are defined as adults with a qualifying disability, including:
      • HIV or AIDS,
      • Substance abuse,
      • Physical disability,
      • Developmental or emotional impairment,
      • Long-term chronic health condition. This condition is expected to be of indefinite duration. It must also impede the person's ability to live independently
    • Includes comprehensive social services appropriate for seniors and disabled households
  • Families experiencing homelessness
    • Families are referred from Dept of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH)'s Coordinated Entry System
    • Includes comprehensive social services appropriate for families
  • Young adults 18-24, transitioning from foster care, are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness
    • Transitional Age Youth (TAY) referred from HSH’s Coordinated Entry System
    • Includes Low Threshold, Mixed Population, Single Site, and Shared Housing
    • Includes comprehensive supportive services appropriate for transition-age youth
  • Single adults experiencing homelessness
    • Homeless adults referred from HSH’s Coordinated Entry System
    • Includes comprehensive supportive services appropriate for formerly homeless adults

Local Operating Subsidy Program (LOSP)

To support the operations of MOHCD-sponsored housing for families and individuals experiencing homelessness, we administer LOSP. LOSP is a building-level subsidy to support housing and services for formerly homeless households. It covers operating costs for buildings.


Acquisition and Preservation

MOHCD provides loans to nonprofit developers who convert existing, privately-owned buildings to permanently affordable housing.

  • Small Sites Program
    • MOHCD provides loans to nonprofit organizations, to buy buildings before an investor does. The ultimate goal is to prevent displacement.
  • Existing Nonprofit Owned Rental Program
    • MOHCD provides loans and grants to nonprofit owners of existing affordable housing. These help fund capital repairs to insure long-term affordability.

Public Housing Initiatives

MOHCD, the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII), and the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) have collaborated since 2007 to preserve every unit of public housing in San Francisco. We preserve housing by rebuilding or rehabilitating the units.

  • HOPE SF
    • HOPE SF is the large-scale, multi-phased transformation program for the City’s largest and most distressed public housing developments:
      • Hunters View
      • Alice Griffith
      • Potrero Annex and Terrace
      • Sunnydale
  • Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
    • The City and SFRA transferred 3,500 distressed public housing units to community-based, nonprofit ownership under HUD’s RAD program.
    • The new nonprofit owners have completed more than $800 million in repairs.
    • The new owners will maintain the homes as permanently affordable housing