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:

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.  

Single-Family Development Fee Deferral 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.

Multi-Family 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

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

Get updates on Housing Initiatives

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.

ADU Calculator (beta)

Junior Unit

Try this new online tool to help estimate the costs, returns, and benefits associated with building an ADU.

Housing Initiatives

Permit Sonoma Housing Initiatives

Housing Initiatives

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

Community Development Commission

Learn More

CDC Logo

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

Office of Recovery and Resiliency

Housing

County Seal

Recovery-focused information on the County's efforts to build and rebuild housing