Santa Rosa, CA – May 24, 2017 – The
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today approved multiple actions that will
increase the supply of affordable housing in Sonoma County. These actions
included policy changes that free up local housing development funds for use in
all areas of Sonoma County, and building 12 or more “Tiny Houses” on
County-owned land located at 665 Russell Avenue, in Santa Rosa.
Board action moves our strategic priority of addressing affordable housing and
homelessness boldly forward,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Chairwoman
Shirlee Zane. “We are going to put roofs over heads that would have
otherwise been on the street. It is clear we need more housing, and we need it
now. I look forward to seeing the Tiny Houses built and filled by this fall.”
County’s Tiny House pilot project is one of the first in the nation to use
government-owned land to create Tiny Houses. The land will be leased to
Community Housing Sonoma County, a California nonprofit public benefit
corporation, which was awarded a contract following a competitive solicitation
process in July 2016. The three-year pilot will demonstrate the viability of a
combined housing and service model and will include on-site management.
Housing Sonoma County is pleased to work with Sonoma County to help provide
safe, reliable and comforting homes to our community,” said Paula Cook,
Executive Director of Community Housing Sonoma County. “The Tiny Homes Pilot
Project fully embodies the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors priority to
provide housing to all.”
The total development cost for Community Housing Sonoma County’s proposal is $1.03
million. The project will
use Federal Veterans Administration Supportive Housing funding for monthly rental subsidies for all residents
through the Santa Rosa Housing Authority.
Board also adopted a change in policy today that will allow the use of the
County’s Housing Trust Fund in both unincorporated and incorporated cities.
Previously, the funds were limited to unincorporated county areas. The County
Fund for Housing receives “in-lieu” fees from developers as part of the
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, as well as contributions from the County’s
General Fund. Since its inception the County Fund for Housing has invested over
$24 million and spurred the production of more than 550 affordable homes
throughout the county.
prior actions, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Building HOMES Toolbox in
2016 following study sessions with community members that sought to identify
housing strategies to end homelessness in Sonoma County. Several approaches
were identified including rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing,
housing for homeless youth, set-asides in affordable housing developments,
rental subsidies and “Housing First.”
Housing Policy Facts:
- Although Sonoma County has met 57 percent of
its Regional Housing Need of 936 new housing units for the eight-year period
between 2015 and 2023, much work still needs to be done to create multi-family
- Sonoma County needs more than 17,144
affordable homes for low-income individuals and families.
- Median rents have increased over 16% since
2000, while median renter household incomes have decreased 6%.
- Sonoma County’s lowest-income renters spend
68% of their income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation,
health expenses and other needs.
- Multi-family housing rental units provide the
highest level of affordability and density and need to be located within cities
or designated urban service areas with sewer infrastructure.
- A 100% density bonus is available for
multi-family rental housing when at least 40% of units are affordable.