San Francisco a city in San Francisco County, California
Featured Properties in San Francisco
This city is served by the San Francisco Housing Authority
San Francisco Housing Authority
Section 8 Waiting List Status:
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
San Francisco Housing Authority
Public Housing Waiting List Statuses
The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) is not accepting Public Housing waiting list pre-applications at this time.
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:
|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
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
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
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.