First time homebuyers that meet income thresholds or other criteria can receive loan or down payment assistance and counseling for buying their first home.


Buyer assistance programs make homeownership possible for many families by reducing the upfront and ongoing costs of buying a home. The goal of the program is to create more low to moderate income homeowners in San Francisco.

Loan programs vary in the specifics of how much money can be lent, terms of repayment and eligibility criteria. The government entity sets loan terms and provides funding, and qualified lenders provide homebuyers with their first mortgages.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) manages San Francisco’s buyer assistance programs, which include a variety of targeted subprograms. For example, one program is offered to San Francisco police officers who want to buy a home in the City.

All of the programs have income and workshop requirements. In many cases, buyers are able to use down payment assistance when they purchase “Below Market Rate” (BMR) units under the Inclusionary Housing Program. This additional assistance allows MOHCD to serve an even lower income homebuyer by lowering the first mortgage and therefore reducing monthly payments.

Income levels served

First-time homebuyer programs in San Francisco serve individuals and families ranging from 80% of Area Median Income to 120% of Area Median Income. Area Median Income is the middle income in an area where 50% of households make more and 50% make less. There are also special programs designed for City-employed first responders and teachers that serve families up to 200% AMI. The table shows income levels based on persons per household for 2016. Click here for more information on income limits from MOHCD.

AMI One Two Three Four
80% AMI $60,300 $68,900 $77,550 $86,150
120% AMI $90,500 $103,400 $116,350 $129,250



Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) | MOHCD manages the city’s loan assistance programs, which includes registration for loan assistance programs, eligibility, and personal consultation. HomeownershipSF | HomeownershipSF provides first-time homebuyer counseling and education workshops required by the program.