San Francisco a city in San Francisco County, California

This city is served by the San Francisco Housing Authority

San Francisco Housing Authority
Section 8 Waiting List Status: Closed

Affordable Housing Online is tracking the status of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List. This is what we know as of our most recent update on May 24th, 2016

The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently closed. It is not known when the waiting list was last open, or when it will reopen.

Important note: Applicants who have been placed on the waiting list must inform the housing authority immediately if your application information changes (such as contact information, income, and household members). In the case that the office sends a notice that does not get returned, or if application information is out of date, your name may be terminated from the waiting list. Contact the housing authority to find out how to update application information.

For more information, visit the SFHA website, or call the office at (415) 715-3280.

The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) is not accepting Section 8 Project-Based Voucher waiting list pre-applications at this time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. The Section 8 Project-Based Voucher program operates similarly to Public Housing, in which tenants must live in a specific unit to receive housing assistance. For HCV information, please scroll up above the PBV section.

Please note: This waiting list has preferences. This means that applicants who qualify for these preferences will receive assistance before applicants who do not. Because of these preferences, applicants who do not qualify may have a longer wait to receive assistance.

To apply during the opening period, applicants were required to complete the online pre-application.

This waiting list has the following preferences: San Francisco District Attorney referrals, Public Housing residents who have been approved for emergency transfer, involuntarily displaced with Residential Certificate of Preference, Involuntarily displaced with an Ellis Act Housing Preference Certificate, homeless in permanent supportive housing and shelters HSA/DPH referral, involuntary displacement from residence in San Francisco, homeless in San Francisco, substandard non-homeless in San Francisco, resident in San Francisco paying more than 70% of household income in rent.

Applicants were placed on the waiting list by random lottery, after sorting preferences.

Important note: Applicants who have been placed on the waiting list must inform the housing authority immediately if your application information changes (such as contact information, income, and household members). In the case that the office sends a notice that does not get returned, or if application information is out of date, your name may be terminated from the waiting list. Contact the housing authority to find out how to update application information.

For more information, visit the SFHA website, or call the office at (415) 715-3280.

San Francisco Housing Authority
Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other

The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) is not accepting Public Housing waiting list pre-applications at this time.

For more information, visit the SFHA website, or call the office at (415) 715-3280.

Market Overview

San Francisco is a city in San Francisco County, California. The population of San Francisco, according to the 2010 Census, is 805,235. The total number of households in the city is 345,811. The average household size for San Francisco is 1.95. The total number of renter households in the city is 222,165 which means that 64.2% of households are renter households.

San Francisco’s Federally assisted affordable rental housing stock includes properties financed through the following programs:

Section 8 87 7,877
LIHTC 105 9,742
Section 202 31 2,314
Section 811 6 105
Public Housing 8
Total 189 17,782
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in San Francisco is 94.10. The largest Federally assisted affordable rental community in the city is North Beach Place at 341 units and the smallest is The ARC Apartments at 9 unit(s). 42 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 3,660 units. Of the 17,782 units, units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Federally Assisted Units By Property

Name Total Units
Mission Plaza Apartments 132
Banneker Homes Inc. 108
Ywca Apartments Inc. 98
Lassen Apartments 81
Thomas Paine Apartments 98
San Lorenzo Ruiz Center 147
Martin Luther King/marcus Garvey Sq 211
Dalt Hotel 177
The Alexander Residence 178
Antonia Manor 133
Page/holloway Apartments 15
O'farrell Towers 101
Providence Senior Housing 49
Monsignor Lyne Community 20
Emeric-goodman Building 30
Friendship Village Two 90
Ocean Beach Apartments 85
Maria Alicia 20
Coleridge Park Apartments 49
Colosimo Apartments 11
Mission Bart Apartments 13
Freedom West II 190
Crocker Amazon Senior Apartments 36
Mercy Charities Housing 76
Vista Del Monte 104
Ceatrice Polite Apartments 91
Presentation Senior Housing 92
The Cecil Williams Glide Community House 51
Abel Gonzales 30
Alexis Apartments 206
Folsom/dore Apartments 98
Jones Memorial Homes II 103
Armstrong Place Senior Housing 116
Golden Gate Apartments 71
Plaza Apartments 106
Eastern Park Apartments 202
Bayview Senior Housing 54
Mission Housing Development Corp. 30
Jones Senior Homes 51
Woolf House I 112
Francis of Assisi 110
Mariposa Gardens Apartments 63
Casa De La Raza 51
International Hotel Sr Housing 105
Betel Apartments 50
Britton Courts 92
Leandro Soto Apartments 48
421 Turk Street Apartments 29
Padre Apartments 41
Park Sunset 30
Unity Peace 94
8th And Howard Family Apartments 74
Wharf Plaza I 116
1028 Howard Street Apartments 30
John King Center 91
Aspen Tenderloin Apartments 82
Wharf Plaza II 114
Namiki Apartments 34
Nihonmachi Terrace 245
Conard House 58
Casa De Vida 21
479 Natoma Street 30
Loren Miller Homes 105
The ARC Apartments 9
Curran House 67
Mei Lun Yuen 185
Univista Apartments 24
Ellis Street Apartments 25
Leland Polk Senior Community 72
Woolfe House II 182
Bayside Elderly Housing 31
Cambridge Hotel 60
Freedom West I 190
La Playa 14
Jackie Robinson Gardens 130
Catholic Charities 18
Western Park Apartments 183
Coventry Park 169
Mercy Terrace 36
Vincentian Villa 124
Amb Properties 246
Minna Street Apartments 24
1101 Howard Street 34
Marlton Manor 151
Thomas Paine Square 98
Northridge Coop Homes 300
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development 63
Supported Independent Living Prog. 12
Bernal Gateway Apartments 55
Fillmore Marketplace 120
Chinese Community Housing Corporation 175
Fredrick Douglas Haynes 104
Presidio Gate 55
Ammel Park Coop 120
Junipero Serra House 25
Dorothy Day Community 100
Apollo Hotel 80
Hotel Grand Southern 72
Menorah Park 151
Diamond View Apartments 58
All Hallows Community 45
The Knox Sro 140
North Beach Place 341
El Bethel Arms 255
Delancy Street Foundation 177
Autumn Glow Alzheimer's Residential 15
Heritage Homes 148
Jones Memorial Homes I 32
Bethany Center 134
El Bethel Terrace 101
Glenridge Apartments 275
Market Heights Apartments 46
Haight St Sr Hsg 39
Peter Claver Community 32
Apartments De La Esperanza 39
Bayview Commons Apartments 30
Carter Terrace 101
Eugene Coleman Com. Hsg 85
Royal Adah Arms 142
Eddy Street Apartments 22
Friendship Village One 68
Sutter Apartments 68
Notre Dame Plaza 66
Cannon Kip Community House 104
Hayes Valley Phase I 195
Prince Hall Apartments 92
Asian Neighborhood Design 10
Bernal Dwellings Apartments 160
Fell Street Apartments 82
Alcantara Court 49
Lady Shaw Senior Center 70
Leland Apartments 24
Herald Hotel 73
Plaza East Apartments 193
Larking/pine Senior Housing 63
All Hallows 157
Shoreview Apartments 156
Buchanan Park 68
Martin Luther Tower 121
† This Property is Federally Assisted though Unit Counts are not available from HUD.

Rental Assistance for Tenants in San Francisco

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties.

In San Francisco, there are 113 affordable housing properties providing rental assistance to very low income households. In addition, San Francisco Housing Authority provides 8,652 Section 8 rental vouchers in San Francisco.

To qualify for most rental assistance programs a renter must earn no more than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In some cases, rental assistance is reserved for renters earning 30% or less of the AMI. In San Francisco, to qualify for Section 8 assistance, a renter household containing four persons must earn $61,500 or less. For some targeted rental assistance programs, a renter household of four can’t earn more than $36,900.

It’s important to remember that in many rental assistance programs there are minimum rent regulations requiring assistance recipients to make a minimum payment of between $25 and $50 per month no matter how low their income.

HUD Assistance Income Limits


Income Limits

All affordable housing programs provided by or through the government have maximum income limits to qualify for assistance. These income limits are typically derived from the Area Median Income (AMI), the theoretical family income of the average household in a given geography.

The AMI is updated each year for each geographical area taking into consideration numerous economic indicators. The geographical areas used for establishing the AMI are either Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) or counties.

San Francisco is in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA. The 2016 Area Median Income for a family of four in San Francisco is $107,700.

The income limits used for Section 8, public housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits. the HOME program and other Federal programs all are derived from the HUD defined AMI.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits


Fair Market Rents (FMR)

HUD establishes a Fair Market Rent each year for each Metropolitan Statistical Area in the country. This rent standard is used to establish Payment Standards for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance. HUD establishes FMR’s for 530 MSA’s and 2,045 counties nationwide each fiscal year.

The FMR is largely a statistical derivative of the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates for 2 bedroom median rent.

Calculating the maximum allowable rents under various subsidy programs is complex and each program has slightly different rules. In the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Project Based Assistance programs, maximum rents a landlord may charge include any tenant paid utility costs.

This utility allowance includes all necessary utilities like water/sewer, trash, heat, electricity or gas. Cable television, telephone, Internet and other non-essential utilities are excluded from this allowance.

In Project Based Section 8 properties, the owner sets the utility allowance after conducting a utility cost analysis. The amount of the allowance is reviewed and approved by HUD. The utility allowance is different for each size dwelling unit.

In the Housing Choice Voucher program, utility allowances are set by the Public Housing Authority (PHA) that administers the program. The PHA sets the allowance based on reasonable utility costs for similar types and sizes of housing units to the unit the voucher holder is renting.

In Section 8 Project Based apartment communities, the maximum rent a tenant may pay is set by the landlord and approved by HUD each year. Initially, the rent charged by the apartment property is limited to the FMR for the area. In some instances, HUD may approve an initial rent of up to 120% of the FMR for the area. Owners may request and HUD may approve annual contract rent increases based on an Annual Adjustment Factor (AAF) determined by local housing and utility costs changes Though contract rents are seldom exactly the same amount as the Fair Market Rent for the area and each Project Based apartment property will have its own contract rent, the FMR can be used as an approximate guide of what maximum contract rents might be.

The amount a Section 8 Project Based tenant will pay is 30% of their adjusted income.

In the Housing Choice Voucher program, the maximum amount the housing authority will pay a landlord is established each year for similar types and sizes of units and is called a Payment Standard. Each housing authority sets its own Payment Standard and usually sets the amount at between 90% and 110% of the Fair Market Rent for the area.

The amount a voucher holder pays for rent, often referred to as a Tenant Contribution, is equal to 30% of their income. If the rental the tenant selects has rent higher than the housing authority Payment Standard, a tenant may pay up to 40% of their income to make up the difference. At least initially, the tenant would not be allowed to pay more than 40% of their income and would have to find a different rental that has a qualifying rent amount.

In San Francisco, under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the San Francisco Housing Authority might pay a landlord with a two bedroom apartment to rent about $3,018 minus the utility allowance. Likewise, a renter in San Francisco with a Section 8 voucher looking to rent a 3 bedroom apartment must find a rental that rents for about $3,927 per month (including the utility allowance). Any amount more than that, the voucher holder could pay the difference as long as they aren’t paying more than 40% of their income. (Note: These rent amounts are approximate since the housing authority’s Payment Standard is likely to be slightly different than HUD’s published FMR. These FMR’s should only be used as a guide. Check with the San Francisco Housing Authority for their actual HCV Payment Standard.)

2017 Fair Market Rents

$1,915 $2,411 $3,018 $3,927 $4,829

Fair Market Rent Percentage Change Since 1988

The affordable housing industry has long used the FMR as barometer for local rents. Though the geographic areas FMR’s are based on are broad and there are often wide variations in neighborhood rents throughout an MSA, in general, the FMR is one of the best quick tools one can use to judge housing costs in a place.

We took a look at historic FMR’s in San Francisco and found that they have risen an average of 3.73% year over year. The first year in our sample is 1985 when the two bedroom FMR was $577. That same 2 bedroom apartment rent had increased to $1795 by 2013. In 2002 the two bedroom FMR in San Francisco saw it’s largest single year increase going up by 19.74%.

It’s also interesting to look at the FMR compared to the Consumer Price Index’s housing index to understand how San Francisco rents have fluctuated in comparison to the rest of the Nation. The consumer price index grew an average of -0.89% year over year. The two bedroom FMR in San Francisco has grown faster than the CPI indicating faster than average rent growth in the market.

The largest single year of 2 bedroom FMR growth was in 2002 at 19.74% while the smallest year of growth was 2005 with a 13.3% decrease.




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Total Households

High Renter
(99th percentile)

Renters or Owners


% of Renter Households


Median Rent


Median Family Income


Renters Overburdened


Households in 60-80% AMI Range


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Average Units Per Property


Gross Rent Paid By All Renters


Renters with No Vehicle


Renters Below Poverty Level


Renters Who Taxi, Bike, or Walk to Work


Renters Who Use Public Transit to Work


Renters With Children


Vacant Units For Rent


Vacancy Rate


Units With Utilities Included In Rent