HOME-SF is San Francisco's local density bonus program. It's designed to incentivize building more affordable and family-friendly housing in neighborhood commercial and transit corridors through zoning modifications.
HOME-SF is an optional program for developers constructing mixed-income in certain areas of San Francisco. Under HOME-SF, 30 percent of the units in a new housing project must be affordable to low, middle and moderate-income families. To provide more family friendly housing, 40 percent of the total units in the building must be two bedrooms or larger (with an additional option of providing 50% of all bedrooms in the project in units with 2 or more bedrooms).
In return, density bonuses and zoning modifications are provided, allowing project sponsors to accommodate additional affordable units. The Planning Department projects HOME-SF could result in up to 5,000 new affordable units over the next 20 years.
A density bonus is an increase in the overall number of housing units that a developer may build on a site in exchange for including more affordable housing units in the project. Under HOME-SF, the maximum bonus for a project is an additional two stories and relief from density controls.
To be eligible for the HOME-SF program, each project:
- Must not demolish any residential units
- Will consist of new construction only and will not propose additions to existing buildings
- Must provide three or more dwelling units
- Must not demolish or significantly alter a historic resource
HOME-SF is not applicable in the RH-1 or RH-2 Zoning Districts, and is restricted in a number of other areas (a forthcoming application will provide detailed eligibility criteria). If your project does not qualify for HOME-SF, it may still qualify for the State Analyzed or State Individually Requested Density Bonus Programs.
HOME-SF projects require an entitlement called “Conditional Use Authorization”. A Conditional Use entitlement requires a Planning Commission hearing in order to determine if the proposed use is necessary or desirable to the neighborhood, and whether it may potentially have a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Public comment is welcomed at every Planning Commission hearing.
Staff will complete a design review for every project that chooses to participate in the HOME-SF program. This review will include the various dimensions, including height, setbacks, and other standard design considerations to ensure the completed project respects the surrounding context and keeps with the character of the neighborhood and commercial corridors.
HOME-SF requires project sponsors to provide at least 18 months advance notice of a proposed project to any existing commercial tenants on the site. HOME-SF also requires that any potentially displaced commercial tenants be connected with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), which offers relocation assistance and support.