San Francisco's Community Stabilization
Housing Production and Preservation

100% Affordable Housing Production and Preservation

2060 Folsome Street, a 100% affordable housing development. Rendering by Y.A. studio in Association with Mithun.

100 percent affordable housing in the city includes developments built or acquired with a variety of federal, state, and local programs.


Older 100 percent affordable developments have been built through specific federal programs including Public Housing, administered locally by the San Francisco Housing Authority, and loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Since the late 1980s most new affordable housing in San Francisco and the nation has been built using federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) along with local and state funds. Local redevelopment agency dollars were the main source of local funding until 2012 when redevelopment ended. Since that time San Francisco has relied on other local sources to fund affordable housing. State loans and grants, available in certain periods over recent decades also have helped fund affordable housing in the city.

San Francisco has focused its affordable housing investment on buildings owned and managed by nonprofit affordable housing developers and community-based organizations. However, some older buildings may have been developed by for-profit companies or nonprofit organizations with limited experience and commitment to providing housing. Preserving this affordable housing over the long term will require ongoing efforts from the city moving forward. In addition, public housing was chronically underfunded in Federal budgets for decades, resulting in severe habitability problems. As a result, San Francisco is using a combination of federal and local initiatives including the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and HOPESF to rehabilitate or rebuild all public housing units in the city.

Five neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city hold 60 percent of all the city’s affordable units: Tenderloin (18 percent), South of Market (12 percent), Western Addition (11 percent), Bayview Hunters Point (11 percent), and the Mission (8 percent).  These concentrations of affordable housing are driven by various factors:

  • Historic concentrations of housing serving lower income people have led to preservation efforts that have retained or expanded affordable housing in these neighborhoods.

  • Community-based nonprofit organizations active in certain neighborhoods have been leaders in the development and preservation of affordable housing.

  • Redevelopment was one of the main methods to fund affordable housing and affordable housing tends to be concentrated in former redevelopment areas.

  • Areas with more housing development in general tend to have more investment in affordable housing because these areas are more likely to be zoned for multifamily housing and more likely to receive funding generated by nearby market rate development.