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Public Housing

We are one of a few organizations in the city that does tenants rights counseling for public housing and section 8 tenants.  We are committed to help you fight for your rights.

If you live in in Section 8 or Public Housing, please come in to our office for intake.  We can’t help over the phone until we have done an in person intake.

Public housing (commonly referred to as “the projects”) is housing owned and operated directly by the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA), which is an independent, local agency (not the City), created by the State and regulated and funded by HUD. There are approximately 6,000 of these units (43 developments) in San Francisco. 4,000 of these are family units (such as Hunters View, Alice Griffith, Potrero, etc), and 2,000 are senior/disabled buildings (like Rosa Parks, Mission Dolores, 660 Ellis, etc).

These developments are owned by the Housing Authority, with the exception of the “HOPE VI” sites which have been redeveloped in the last decade and are commonly run by outside management agents such as John Stewart Company or McCormack-Baron. They are still owned by the SFHA. These HOPE VI sites are Valencia Gardens, Bernal Dwellings, Hayes Valley, and North Beach.

Federal rules that apply to all of the SFHA owned public housing units (found in the CFR) are outlined in the HUD Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook and the Housing Authority’s local policies are stated in the Admissions and Continuing Occupancy Policies (ACOP).

All public housing residents pay only 30% of their income for rent.

Often people use the term “public housing” for any low-income housing that is funded by the federal government but public housing is only one of the different housing programs funded by the federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Getting Repairs in Public Housing


Resources for Public Housing residents

National Housing Law Project’s Public Housing Page

National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Advocacy Guide

HUD’s Public Housing Page

KnowledgePlex‘s Public Housing Resource Page

The Urban Institutes’s Public Housing Publications

Columbia University’s Center for Urban Research Policy Publications

Read the report of the results of our community forums on the “Future of the Housing Authority”

Organize a tenant council in your building