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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:

Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units Program

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.

Density Bonus Program

A regulatory incentive for developers to build more affordable housing by increasing the allowable residential density and providing incentives to reduce housing costs.  

Fee Deferral Program

Allows the payment of development fees to be deferred until the permanent financing for an affordable or special needs housing project is obtained.

Residential Development Program

Requirement for all residential development to contribute to the County’s affordable housing program.

Workforce Housing Program

Requirement for all non-residential developments to contribute to the County’s affordable housing program.

Affordable Housing Fees

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 (PDF: 210 kB)

Workforce Housing (Non-Residential) Fees

Affordable housing fees assessed on building permits for new non-residential structures.

Workforce Housing Program Information

Fee Schedule

Fee Determinations and Exemptions

Contact Information

Permit Sonoma
2550 Ventura Avenue
Hearing Room
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705

Housing Initiatives

Find Out More


Permit Sonoma is introducing several initiatives to help meet the County's ambitious housing production goal.

Accessory Units & Junior Units

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are an inexpensive way to create smaller, more affordable rental housing units that may provide revenue streams for you, while increasing the availability of rental housing in the county.

Find Out More

Housing for All Strategy

Learn More

multi-unit housing

The County's strategic priority to ensure housing for all income levels.

Sonoma County Community Development Commission

The Community Development Commission (CDC) is dedicated to promoting decent and affordable housing, revitalizing communities, and supporting public services.

Community Development Commission

CDC Affordable Housing Information

Online Permitting Tools

Experienced users can go directly to the applicable online tools below. (New users: Learn more.)

Apply for Permits Online
Apply for certain residential Building permits online. (Registration/log in required.)

Permit History Lookup
Check a property's permit history.

Permit Status & Pay Fees
Check the current status of a Permit, Inspection, or Plan Check. (Search for your permit number.)

Zoning Information
Search for a property's Zoning (by address or parcel number). Find out what the Zoning Codes mean.