The Housing Office maintains a self-service bulletin board that lists privately owned off-campus rentals including apartments, flats, houses, rooms, and shared arrangements. Listings are available on-line at the Housing Options web site. The web site is updated far more frequently than the bulletin board. Note, however, that access to the web site is NOT restricted to UCSF personnel; it is a very popular listing service for SF home-seekers. The Housing Office does not investigate, endorse, or guarantee the accommodations listed. Students, especially those with families, are encouraged to allow ample time for locating suitable housing prior to the start of the quarter.
Other housing options include rental listing agencies, word-of-mouth, walking through neighborhoods looking for “RENT” signs, looking at bulletin boards, real estate offices/property managers, and reading the paper.
Craig’s list is an indispensable site for finding listings or used furniture, cars, equipment, etc. Also check out the best of craigslist for a hours of procrastination.
The San Francisco Chronicle or Examiner has some listings that you might also want to consider. You can also access their housing listings on their web site
THE SUNSET: Some of the cheaper rents around, lots of pastel stucco, somewhat foggy, and replete with good restaurants. Good transportation on the N-Judah, and generally within walking/biking distance from campus. A big plus: near the beach and the park. A big minus: you may not want to look up at UCSF from your bedroom.
COLE VALLEY: Beautiful homes, close to UCSF, a little sunnier, but very popular with yuppies (and consequently not-so-affordable anymore). Near the Haight.
THE RICHMOND: Fairly inexpensive, mostly (but not totally) lacking in architectural splendor, some fog, ethnically diverse, and amazing Asian restaurants. Well-served by the 38-Geary bus, and a short bike ride to UCSF (through the park -- generally safe). Near Baker Beach and the Presidio. Plus/Minus: you ARE a little bit isolated from UCSF and your classmates here.
THE HAIGHT: Forget the ‘60s. Today, the Haight is filled with trendy boutiques and tourists by day (the Gap is on the corner of Haight and Ashbury); homeless folks and their dogs reliving the Summer of Love by night. Beautiful Victorians rent for a ridiculous sum. A better bet is the Lower Haight (East of Divisadero), which is less gentrified, and cheaper. Well-served by the N-Judah and various bus lines.
FILLMORE/WESTERN ADDITION/NORTH OF PANHANDLE:
Affordable housing is available here, but isn’t always easy to find.
Served by the 43-Masonic bus line. Looks a lot like the Haight, but with
fewer shops and crowds
CASTRO: Super-lively neighborhood, traditionally the gay district of SF. Attractive homes, costly, and a journey up the 17th St. hill to UCSF.
THE MISSION: Sunny! A largely Latino neighborhood which is still cheap, and wonderful food. Lots of trendy bars and restaurants. Farther from Parnassus but close Mission Bay.
POTRERO HILL: Nice, quiet residential neighborhood close to Mission Bay. Less convenient to public transportation, markets, and restaurants (although there are a set of good restaurants and shops at 18th and Connecticut).