Affordable Homeownership and Mortgage Assistance Programs


Condo for sale

Finding a home you can afford to buy in San Francisco can be difficult. Fortunately, there are special programs that make homeownership more affordable in the city for low to moderate income families: Affordable Homeownership Programs and Mortgage Assistance Programs. Remember, the first step in the homebuying process is to get prepared. These special programs require that you first attend a first-time homebuyer workshop(s) for a minimum of 6 hours total, followed by a one-on-one counseling session with one of our member agencies. By fulfilling these requirements you will be issued a Certificate of Completion that will be valid up to two years from the date of issuuance.

By attending these workshops and one-on-one counseling session, first-time homebuyers will learn about these special programs and if they are eligible, the home purchase process and how to make wise decisions. 

Note: Attending a workshop(s) for a total of 6 hours is required and therefore you have the choice of attending one 6 hour workshop or three 2 hour workshops or any combination of qualififed workshops to fulfill this requirement. Please note which workshops qualify to fulfill this requirement as noted on our calendar. 

Click here to see upcoming workshops on our calendars.  Calendar


Additionally, these special programs are generally used in conjunction with traditional first mortgage loans, and therefore, subject to your ability to qualify for a first mortgage loan.

See qualifying for a mortgage loan in the resources page.


What are affordable homeownership programs?

Affordable Homeownership Programs refer to homes (generally condos) that are priced to be affordable to households earning anywhere from about 60% to about 120% of the city's median income.  Because affordable homeownership programs sell homes for less than the amount required to cover its costs, it must be subsidized. The subsidy can come in the form of government funding or through requirements that developers designate a certain percentage of new units they build as affordable.


Local Affordable Homeownership Programs

Mayor's Office of Housing (MOH) Below Market Rate (BMR) Inclusionary Housing Program

MOH Condo Conversion Program


What are Mortgage Assistance Programs?

Mortgage assistance programs refer to loans or grants that help cover the down payment and/or closing costs associated with buying a home.  Normally, when you buy a home, you are expected to pay for all the upfront costs of homeownership, including the down payment and closing costs.  However, there are a number of mortgage assistance programs available depending on your income, the type of home you're buying and other factors. The majority of mortgage assistance programs offer low-interest, deferred payment junior loans with shared appreciation upon resale of the property.

Local Mortgage  Assistance Programs for First Time Homebuyers

Mayors Office of Housing Mortgage Assistance Programs


Other Mortgage Assistance Programs

California Housing Finance Agency - CHDAP Program 




The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only.  General information on program qualifications is provided; however, a program's administrator will have the final determination on your eligibility for that program.

How do I start the homebuying process?

Step 1: Get prepared

Attending a first-time homebuyer workshop will help you learn about the home purchase process and make wise decisions.

Register for a workshop

Step 2: Find out if you qualify

Schedule an appointment with a housing counseling or lender. This meeting will determine if you qualify for a mortgage loan, and if, so how much you can afford.

Step 3: Shop for a home

After you know how much you can afford, you may choose to work with a real estate agent to find a market rate home or find an affordable (below market rate/BMR) home on your own.

Find affordable homes

Step 4: Look for mortgage assistance

There are a number of down payment and closing cost assistance programs available depending on the home you’re buying, your income and other factors.

Search for mortgage assistance programs