All projects

San  Francisco
Affordable Housing Portal


San Francisco’s recent housing boom and rising prices have made it one of the most expensive US cities to live in, affecting especially low-income earners.

Working with city government, my role was to deliver user flows, information architecture, visual designs and prototypes to the portal. The digital affordable housing portal was created to provide  access to information and optimize the process of searching, filtering and applying for buying or renting units in the city.

Visit Portal

The Process before DAHLIA

Since 1950s, San Francisco families, mostly ones with a low income, are able rent or own a house with the government affordable housing program.

Offering population the chance to apply to a process, that included an in person application, documentation, lifestyle and proof of income to meet the program eligibility standards.  Until mid-2010, it was made using paper forms, and paper forms, only, submitted individually, for every new house a family would be interested.

In 2016, the city introduced Dahlia to the population of San Francisco, creating an online process that previously did not existed, making the stressful journey of finding an affordable home a lot easier: 

Share information

Check suitable options based on your household income

Set preferences

Such as neighborhood, school proximity, senior housing & more

Upload documents

At any time, to speed up the process

Visual Story

Listings are now shown in a shorter format, containing information on lottery preferences and eligibility criteria, clearly spelled out before application. Focusing on relevant information, user identifies valuable opportunities at a glance.

Human Language

Using simplified language and personal approach to explain housing preferences, convincing applicants to take their time to understand the process, while showcasing unit's features and amenities.

One step at a time

Applicants can save their progress and continue again when they’re ready, being able to upload documents and check the status of their application whenever they want.

As soon as an applicant completes their application, they receive their lottery number digitally. Once the application is submitted, they receive their lottery number digitally,

User can opt in for SMS, mail and e-mail updates on the lottery results, application changes, similar properties and reminders.

When lottery results are posted, the applicant returns the website to check their number, and sees where they placed in the lottery.

If user wins a lottery, an email is automatically send to them, with the great news, and instructions on what to expect next.

Results & Impact

Reduced application time from several days to fill out an application, now it takes 15 minutes.

Both population and county saw benefits in the online application, and the successful, open source initiative has expanded to other counties, under the name of Bloom Project.


Digital Adoption Rate


Monthly Website Views


Submitted Applications


Families move to their new house every month

DAHLIA was my first project of many with the City and County of San Francisco.

After its delivery, I participated in the creation of other web portals, digital presence, pattern library and visual identity, for:

Taboom App