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Housing Element

The Housing Element is a section of the Sonoma County General Plan, which presents goals, objectives, policies, and supporting information related to the provision of housing for existing and future residents of the County. Every city and county in California is required by law to adopt a Housing Element as part of its General Plan. 

The purpose of the Housing Element is to guide decision-making by elected and appointed officials, in the context of broader General Plan policy and time frame, regarding housing. Specifically, the Housing Element sets forth how the County will address the need for housing, especially by low and moderate income families and special needs families and individuals. The Housing Element also provides housing-related data and information to the public on housing in the County.

Download Housing Element document

The Housing Element is organized into four main sections.

  • Section I provides an introduction to the overall Housing Element update effort, as well as a review of the effectiveness of the 2009 Housing Element and the County's progress in its implementation.
  • Section II sets forth the County's Housing Goals, Objectives, Policies and Action Programs. The County’s Quantified Objectives are also included in Section II.
  • Section III presents a detailed housing site inventory, including a discussion of the availability of services, and compares this inventory to the County’s projected housing needs.
  • Section IV, the Technical Background Report, provides statutorily required data including an assessment of housing needs & programs, an analysis of non-governmental and governmental constraints to affordable housing provision, and a discussion of special needs populations.

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is responsible for calculating the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) for Bay Area cities and counties.

ABAG Regional Housing Program

Contact Information

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

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

Office of Recovery and Resiliency


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