Homebuyer Education and Assistance Programs

Education & Support for Homebuyers

All San Francisco ownership opportunity programs through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) require completion of 10 hours of homebuyer education by ALL members of the household age 18 and older. The 10 hours must be completed in three steps:

1. Attend a free 2 hour MOHCD Homebuyer Program Orientation.

2. Complete 6 hours of First Time Homebuyer workshop(s).

    • Real-time online or in-person workshops:
      • These workshops are facilitated by HUD-certified housing counselors in San Francisco.
      • Available in one 6-hour session, or two 3-hour parts. If you take a Part 1 workshop, you must complete the Part 2 workshop with the same agency.
      • BALANCE, MEDA and the SF LGBT Center offer real-time workshops for free.
    • Self-paced online workshops:
      • These self-paced, online modules, are administered by San Francisco housing counseling organizations, but are offered through Frameworks and E-Home America.
      • All self-paced workshops require a service fee.

3. Complete 2 hours of Individual Counseling at the same agency (listed below) where you completed the homebuyer workshop(s). Individual counseling appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and can be arranged to take place via phone or other online services.

Upon completion all 10 hours of education, you will receive a Verification of Homebuyer Education. Once you have also obtained a mortgage pre-approval from a MOCHD approved lender, you will be eligible to apply for:

Homebuyer Education Renewal

It is your responsibility to make sure your Verification of Homebuyer Education is up to date. The Issue Date on your Verification of Homebuyer Education must be within the past year to be valid. If the Issue Date on your Verification of Homebuyer Education is close to reaching a one-year mark or has already passed, please connect with your counselor immediately to determine the next steps to renew the document. A valid Verification of Homebuyer Education will be needed for your counseling agency to issue a Certificate of Homebuyer Education once you are in a purchase contract. See Homebuyer Education Requirement and FAQs for more information.

  • If your Verification has expired for less than 1 year, you can request a one-time renewal by completing another Counseling session. The renewed Verification will expire 1 year from the date of the renewal Counseling session.

  • If your Verification has expired for more than 1 year, you will need to start all over again by completing the 10-hour homebuyer education process. This will ensure that you have up-to-date information about MOHCD’s homebuyer programs and policies, the current housing market, and other homebuying information.

Additional Support and Guidance: Application Assistance & Process Information

MOHCD Homebuyer Program Orientation

Learn about San Francisco homebuyer programs offered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) and decide if you want to move forward with the remaining homebuyer education. The orientation provides an overview of affordable city programs, including eligibility requirements, down payment assistance, the application process, lottery preferences, and more!

Real-time online or in-person Workshops for Homebuyers

Learn everything you need to know about buying and owning your own home. Topics include: Understanding Credit, Obtaining A Mortgage, Shopping for a Home, Below Market Rate Program and Down Payment Assistance

These workshops satisfy the education requirement for obtaining the Homebuyer Education Certificate.

Self-paced Workshops for Homebuyers

Virtual self-paced first time homebuyer education you can complete on your own time for a fee.

These workshops also satisfy the education requirement for obtaining the Homebuyer Education Certificate.

MOHCD Approved Lenders

In addition to a Verification of Homebuyer Education, you must also have a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter from a City approved lender in order to submit an application for City sponsored homebuyer programs including BMRs and DALP.

Application Assistance & Process Information

Get free application assistance for City affordable ownership opportunities and down payment assistance programs at the same agency where you attended the First Time Homebuyer workshop(s).

Homebuyers Resources

Interactive mortgage calculators to help you experiment with, and understand the different financial aspects of homeownership. Also connect with organizations providing homebuyer resources including alternative financing options.