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...

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


  • 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.

Information for developers and agents

Partners (lenders, realtors, rental leasing agents)

  • Lenders, realtors, and rental leasing agents must be familiar with relevant portions of the Inclusionary Housing Program.
  • Lenders, housing counselors, and rental leasing agents must be trained by MOHCD.

More information for partners