San Francisco a city in San Francisco County, California

About Affordable Housing In San Francisco

San Francisco has 243 low income housing communities. San Francisco is served by San Francisco Housing Authority.

Affordable Apartments in San Francisco

441 Ellis Street
Lassen Apartments features St.-1 bedroom apartments.
Lassen Apartments participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Project-Based Section 8
1086 Golden Gate Avenue
Thomas Paine Apartments features St.-4 bedroom apartments.
Thomas Paine Apartments participates in the following programs:
Project-Based Section 8
65 Navy Rd
All Hallows participates in the following programs:
Project-Based Section 8
1150 Webster St
Buchanan Park participates in the following programs:
Project-Based Section 8
1001 Franklin St
Martin Luther Tower participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Housing Authorities that serve San Francisco

Understanding Affordable Housing in San Francisco, California

Population and Household Demographics

San Francisco is a City in San Francisco County, California with a population of 805,235. There are 345,811 households in the city with an average household size of 1.95 persons. 64.24% of households in San Francisco are renters.

Income and Rent Overburden in San Francisco

The median gross income for households in San Francisco is $78,378 a year, or $6,532 a month. The median rent for the city is $1,533 a month.

Households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be Rent Overburdened. In San Francisco, a household making less than $5,110 a month would be considered overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. 43.18% of households who rent are overburdened in San Francisco.1

Data derived from 2010 Census and 2014 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn More.
1 Margin of Error: +/- 0.84 percentage points.

Fair Market Rents in San Francisco

Fair Market Rents, often abbreviated as FMR, can be used to better understand the average housing costs of an area. Notably, Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance.

2017 Fair Market Rents
Studio One BR Two BR Three BR Four BR
$1,915 $2,411 $3,018 $3,927 $4,829
Area Median Income In San Francisco

Affordable housing program eligibility is always determined by one's income. Each household's income is compared to the incomes of all other households in the area. This is accomplished through a statistic established by the government called the Area Median Income, most often referred to as AMI. The AMI is calculated and published each year by HUD.

HUD often uses an area larger than a city to determine the AMI because HUD anticipates those searching for housing will look beyond individual cities during their housing search. For San Francisco, the AMI is calculated from all households within San Francisco County.

In San Francisco, HUD calculates the Area Median Income for a family of four as $107,700.

Most affordable housing programs determine eligibility based on the percent of AMI a given household's income is. Among the programs that determine eligibility based on the AMI are Section 8, HOME, LIHTC, Section 515, 202 and 811.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits in San Francisco

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program aims to create affordable rental housing for low and very low income families.

From 2002 to 2006, 2 low income apartment communities containing 176 rental apartments have been constructed and made affordable to low income persons in San Francisco by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in the program in San Francisco by looking for the tag in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

For affordable apartment communities in San Francisco that received funding in part through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, monthly rent cannot exceed the Tax Credit maximum rent for the community.

If your income does not exceed 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you may qualify to rent a unit that is subject to the rent limits established by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
50% $43,050 $49,200 $55,350 $61,500 $66,450 $71,350 $76,300 $81,200
60% $51,660 $59,040 $66,420 $73,800 $79,740 $85,620 $91,560 $97,440
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent Limits

If your income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you should not expect to pay more than the rent value for a unit in the table below. However, Affordable apartment communities that receive funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program may have rental units that are not subject to income and rent limits.

Rent limits for the LIHTC Program are determined so that a household making the maximum income for the expected household size of the unit would only pay 30% of their income for rent.

For example, the expected household size for a two bedroom apartment is 3 people. Using the table above, the maximum income for a 3 person household at 60% of the AMI in San Francisco is $66,420 a year, or $5,535 a month. To determine the maximum rent in the table below we multiply the monthly maximum income, $5,535 by 30% to get a maximum rent of $1,661 a month.

Rent for units in the LIHTC Program include a utility allowance which is determined by the average monthly cost of utilities paid directly by residents. This allowance has not been subtracted from the rents in the table below. These utility allowances are set on a property by property basis.

% of AMI Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
50% $1,076 $1,153 $1,384 $1,599 $1,784 $1,969
60% $1,292 $1,384 $1,661 $1,919 $2,141 $2,363
Rental Assistance 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 for elderly and disabled households.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in a program that provides rental assistance by looking for the tags in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

HUD Rental Assistance Income Limits

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.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
30% $25,850 $29,550 $33,250 $36,900 $39,900 $42,850 $45,800 $48,750
50% $43,050 $49,200 $55,350 $61,500 $66,450 $71,350 $76,300 $81,200
80% $68,950 $78,800 $88,650 $98,500 $106,400 $114,300 $122,150 $130,050