Affordable Housing Policies and Programs
Permit Sonoma, the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, and other County departments operate a number of programs providing regulatory incentives and financing to promote and assist in the development and preservation of housing that is affordable, available, and accessible to the County’s low-income residents.
Why Affordable Housing Matters
Housing affordability affects the entire community—residents, businesses, the environment, and the economy:
- A lack of affordable or available housing increases homelessness.
- Extremely cost-burdened households (those spending more than 50 percent of income on housing) have little left over to pay for other necessary expenses—food, transportation, and health care and suffer lower health outcomes as a result.
- A lack of affordable housing in urban centers forces people to commute long distances and move outside of the County, resulting in increased traffic and wear-and-tear on aging roads, lower quality of life, and lost economic output.
- Slow housing growth results in a slower job growth and economic prosperity.
Sonoma County's Affordable Housing Programs
The following Permit Sonoma programs encourage the development of affordable housing:
A regulatory incentive for developers to build more affordable housing by increasing the allowable residential density and providing incentives to reduce housing costs.
Accessory dwelling units may be constructed to defer payment of the affordable housing fee, provided that the unit be restricted for rent to qualified low-income households.
Allows the payment of development fees to be deferred until the permanent financing for an affordable or special needs housing project is obtained.
Requirement for all residential development to contribute to the County’s affordable housing program.
Requirement for all non-residential developments to contribute to the County’s affordable housing program.
As part of the affordable housing program, Permit Sonoma collects affordable housing fees for new construction of residential and non-residential structures. These fees fund affordable housing development through the County Fund for Housing, administered by the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. Contact Permit Sonoma's Planning Division for more information on on affordable housing fees.
Residential Development Fees
Affordable housing fees assessed on building permits for new residential structures.
Residential Program Information
Fee Schedule 2020 (PDF: 266 kB)
Effective January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Workforce Housing (Non-Residential) Fees
Affordable housing fees assessed on building permits for new non-residential structures.
Workforce Housing Program Information
Fee Determinations and Exemptions