“Working Class For An Affordable Mission” ⁣ ⁣ Directed and designed Lucia Gonzalez Ippolito. Painted by Pancho Pescador and Pablo Ruiz Arroyo.⁣ ⁣⁣ Sponsored by Mission Housing Development Corporation to commemorate 50 years of serving the community (1971-2021). ⁣
“Working Class For An Affordable Mission” directed and designed Lucia Gonzalez Ippolito, and painted by Pancho Pescador and Pablo Ruiz Arroyo.⁣ It was sponsored by Mission Housing Development Corporation to commemorate it's 50 year anniversary and honor the Mission Coalition Organization.

It’s not easy to score an affordable home in San Francisco, but you never know until you try and apply

How this page is organized: 

Mission Local is highlighting San Francisco’s available apartments and condos, which you can find directly on the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development’s site DAHLIA

The properties are organized by application deadlines and divided into rental and ownership properties.

A “how-to,” definitions, and basic explainer of how affordable housing application and selection works will appear at the bottom of the page. Once an application process closes, we will remove the listing. Previous listings can be viewed on DAHLIA. 

We’re a small (but mighty) team. If we miss a property, don’t hesitate to reach out so we can update the page. 

Affordable homes for rent 

Ava 55 Ninth Unit 914

What: A one-bedroom, 750-square feet. Lounge, outdoor area, barbeque and fire pits, bike storage, washer and dryer in-unit, dog run, garages.

A waitlist for below market-rate spaces waitlist is available, though no spaces are open now.

A smoke-free apartment. $500 pet deposit, $75/month pet fee.

When: Application deadline July 21, 2022. It costs $45.50 for an application.

Who: Those/households earning up to 55 percent area median income.

Priority applicants: Those who have a certificate of preference from the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, who have been displaced/evicted due to an owner-move-in or an Ellis Act eviction, and those who live and work in San Francisco. 

Where: Civic Center/downtown. By 9th and Jessie Streets. Proximity to transit.

Original listing is here.

Potrero 1010 Units N410, N549

What: A studio, 504 square feet. A two-bedroom, 1,028 square feet. Wall-mounted bike racks, off-leash dog park and washing room, fitness center, common room, rooftop.

Below market-rate parking units waitlist available.

Up to three pets allowed per apartment. $500 deposit and $85/month pet fee.

When: Application deadline July 22, 2022. It costs $50.50 for an application.

Who: Those/households earning up to 55 percent of the area median income.

Priority applicants: Those who have a certificate of preference from the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, who have been displaced/evicted due to an owner-move-in or an Ellis Act eviction, and those who live and work in San Francisco. 

Where: Mission Bay. 1010 16th St. By Potrero and Mississippi streets. Proximity to transit.

Original listing is here.

SOMA Studios

What: Studios that are 330 square feet are available for waitlist. 24-hour maintenance, courtyard, laundry facilities, community room with WiFi.

No parking on-site.

No pets.

When: Application deadline July 28, 2022. It costs $50.50 for an application.

Who: Those earning between 45 and 60 percent of the area median income.

Priority applicants: Those who have a certificate of preference from the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, who have been displaced/evicted due to an owner-move-in or an Ellis Act eviction, and those who live and work in San Francisco. 

Where: SoMa. 1190 Howard St. By Howard and 8th streets. Proximity to transit.

Original listing is here.

How it (generally) works 

You must apply to each INDIVIDUAL listing. You will not have your information saved just because you applied to another listing last week. 

If you wish to purchase a property you have to complete and meet all of the requirements, including

  • Haven’t owned property in the past three years
  • Completing homebuyer education
  • Meeting income requirements
  • Getting pre-approved mortgage loan by a city-approved lender
  • And more.

Who: 

Anyone can apply if they qualify within the area median income brackets listed per property. 

However, some properties may further narrow its tenant pool by statuses like “formerly homeless” or “senior.” We’ll let you know what each property offers, but you can check on DAHLIA’s description as well. 

Often, a certain percentage of units are reserved for those who have a certificate of preference from the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, those who live in the neighborhood, who have been displaced/evicted due to an owner-move-in or an Ellis Act eviction, and those who live and work in San Francisco. 

What: 

Each property is different and supplies different unit types — i.e. one bedrooms, two bedrooms etc. It will also explicitly list other amenities like bike parking, gardens, storage, etc. Much of the affordable housing does not offer on-site parking, so perhaps check local transit/bike routes and street-parking. Find the total make-up of unit types on DAHLIA. 

When: 

The windows to apply close quickly, and the requirements for income are strict. If you missed the application window, there is usually a waitlist. That goes fast as well. 

From there, a member of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development  draws a lottery where all the applicants are ranked. A staff must go in order — one by one — to ask if the selected winner wants the property and if they qualify for the home. Oftentimes, the date of the public lottery is posted on the DAHLIA listing. 

Definitions: 

San Francisco’s area median income. The area median income is determined by the federal government and changes each year. 

Unit types: 

A studio: There is no separate room for the bedroom or communal living space. One to two people can live there.* 

One-bedroom: One private bedroom is separated from the communal living space. One to three people can live there.* 

Two-bedroom: Two private bedrooms are separated from the communal living space. Two to five people can live there.* 

Three-bedroom: Three private bedrooms are separated from the communal living space. Three to five people can live there.*

*Some properties may not count children of a certain age toward the occupancy limit. Other properties may not allow children of a certain age to live there.