To DALP or not to DALP, pros and cons of SF MOH down payment assistance

February 8, 2021
I have represented many folks using SFMOH housing programs.  There are a few of them.  One of the best and most widely useful is the Downpayment Assistant Program or DALP.  The DALP has been first come first serve in the past but starting in about 2015 it became lottery based because they increased both the income limits and amount of money available, which increased the popularity of the program quite a bit.  There are three of the initial DALP allocations for employees of SFUSD and three for first responders and several more for the general public.  The program was is intended to be annual, but the 2019 lottery was delayed and then, well, COVID, and now it is set to resume with the application period opening in February 2021 with a lottery to be held in April 2021.  You can learn more about the program here: 
The DALP is a “silent second” with no monthly payments.  They will loan up to about $375k in some cases, which is a significant chunk of a home even in San Francisco.  However, this is a program where the City owns part of the house and part of the future appreciation. The borrower is also not allowed to have much non retirement money left in the bank at the end so a person can’t just use it to keep all their own money in the stock market or under the mattress.


In practical terms what this means is that if you buy a house for $1,000,000 and you use the DALP to purchase 20% of the home for you, and the home goes up to $1,500,000, they get 100k of the appreciation if you sell or refinance.  They get a % of absolute appreciation even if it is a result of you fixing the house. You don’t get credit for sweat equity or money invested.
I think it is a great program for those who can’t buy without it. Part of something is better than all of nothing. But if you can buy without it … so better not to share your future upside with anyone but your own family?  Another consideration is if you win the DALP, use less of it. Leave some for another family and give away less of your future appreciation.  Your monthly payments will be a little higher but if you can afford them it will be worth it in the long run.
There are many other great programs that the SF MOH has including the Teacher Next Door.  There is literally no downside to this program at all.  Learn more about it here:

If you want more info or an introduction to the best MOH qualified lenders, just contact me!