How to Qualify

Below are baseline requirements for applying for homeownership with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. Please check each listing for any variations as each available home may have different or additional requirements.

General Requirements:

  • Family has not owned a home in the past 3 years.
  • Household must have lived together consistently for the past 12 months.
  • Wage earners must be legal permanent residents, or U.S. citizens.
  • Obtain a First-Time Homebuyer Certificate from a HUD-approved housing agency prior to closing. A First-Time Homebuyer certificate is not required before submitting your application, but strongly encouraged since spaces are limited. Applicants should visit Homeownership SF’s website to learn more about the HUD-approved agencies and reserve a spot.

Income Requirements

  • Applicants have a minimum credit score of 650.
  • Applicants have a history of reliable payments on their credit report.
  • Applicant’s debt to income ratio is below 45%.
  • Household’s gross annual income must be between 40-60% of the area median income as defined  by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), though for some homes, those with incomes equal to up to 80% of the area median income may qualify. Please note income guidelines are subject to change annually.
No. of persons in household Income range
1 $32,840-$49,260
2 $37,520-$56,280
3 $42,200-$63,300
4 $46,880-$70,320
5 $50,640-$75,960
6 $54,400-$81,600
7 $58,160-$87,240

Potential homeowners who meet Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco’s income requirements will be evaluated on three main criteria:

Need for Housing

  • Currently living in inadequate housing conditions, which are substandard, overcrowded, unsafe, or where rent is too expensive in relation to monthly income.

Ability to Pay

  • Can demonstrate a history of regular income.
  • Ability to make monthly payments on a no-interest mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and HOA assessments (if applicable). Please note property taxes, insurance, and HOA assessments are subject to change annually.

Willingness to Partner

  • Must fulfill "sweat equity" commitment by contributing 500 volunteer hours towards the mission of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.  
  • Be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the home from the time of move-in.
  • Must be willing to show your support at events for Habitat developments and on occasion speak on behalf of Habitat and homeownership.


Inevitably, there will be more qualified homebuyers than homes available; therefore, not all qualified families will be approved. We do not keep a waiting list. With the various guidelines that come with each new home and location, not every family will be eligible. We will keep your application information active for one year. When a new home becomes available, we will inform all potential applicants in our database.

 We encourage families from all backgrounds to apply.

Updated 2/2015


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