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Sonoma County Gazette

Housing and Real Estate

Affordable Housing is a hot topic just about everywhere - Homelessness for those who don't have shelter, and real estate from land use policy to Plan Bay Area 2040...where to plant our feet to call HOME is on our minds.

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2020-07-21Jul 21, 2020

Leading the charge in finding solutions for the Workforce/Middle Income housing crisis, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced today that she is looking for creative ideas from the public to aid families in need of housing.   


2020-05-11May 11, 2020

A safe social distancing site behind the Finley Center is now underway for our unshelterd community members. Previous actions have been taken by the City to first place those sheltered and unsheltered individuals at the greatest risk of susceptibility to COVID-19 in hotel rooms. Based on national best practice, strict safety protocols have been implemented in all City-sponsored homeless service operations. In coordination with the County of Sonoma, portable toilets and hand-washing stations were placed at or near known encampments within the City to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City also placed debris containers near these encampments and provided face masks to individuals living in encampments. This new site is the next phase of addresing the covid-19 crisis and unsheltered individuals. The plan is explored in all its ramifications via FAQs.

2020-04-05Apr 5, 2020

SoCo United In Crisis Members: 

North Bay Jobs with Justice , North Bay Organizing Project , North Bay Labor Council,National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW),  Graton Day Labor Center, Alianza Laboral de Mujeres Activas y Solidarias (ALMAS) ,Sonoma County Tenants Union ,Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1021, Comité VIDA and the Sunrise Movement have formed a coalitions and are meeting with elected officials to ask for paid sick leave, job protections for laid off workers, protective gear for essential and healthcare workers, and covered medical costs for farm workers exposed to illness. 

2020-03-11Mar 11, 2020

While reading the Press Democrat, many of us were greeted with the news that Governor Newsom has offered Sonoma County the opportunity to lease 49 state-owned parcels for emergency homeless shelters. They are offered as part of Newsom’s package of emergency measures meant to address the homelessness crisis. One prominent parcel in the City of Santa Rosa is the 57-acre Southeast Greenway.

2020-02-12Feb 12, 2020

Mary Rufatto unlawfully evicted during the Tubbs fire, was unaware that there were homeless folks in Healdsburg, and it took her nearly a year of sleeping outside in Santa Rosa and in hospitals before she discovered  Reach for Home  and the services they provide. Many nights she wandered around the streets of Santa Rosa seeking a warm, dry and safe place to sleep. 

2020-02-10Feb 10, 2020

The easiest way to buy a fixer-upper is you have a decent amount of money and you buy a house that needs cosmetic fixing up. That way, you can buy the house with a regular loan and use your own money to remodel. Mortgage lenders will not lend on homes that are not in at least average condition so if the house is in the below-average condition you may need a renovation loan.


2020-06-27Jun 27, 2020

The definition of a recession is if you have two negative quarters in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The first quarter was negative. As I write this, we are about to end the 2nd Quarter and we will be negative as well so July 1, 2020 we will officially be in a recession. in the last recession, in 2008  the housing market and the mortgage markets caused the recession itself and things were a real mess. Today is a much different. In the 11 years since that recession, we have seen housing prices come back but in a much more healthy way.  We currently have 26.7% of households who have more than 50% equity in their homes and 37% of homes nationwide are owned free and clear. Now is indeed a great time to buy but it is also an excellent time to sell. 

2020-06-26Jun 26, 2020

The affordable housing, community green space and public uses that have been promised to the Roseland community are finally becoming a reality! Over $25 million was approved today by the State of California that will provide a huge boost in the development of the transformational Roseland Village project. Senator McGuire, the County of Sonoma, the City of Santa Rosa, SMART and MidPen Housing have been working together to secure the funds for over a year.

2020-06-24Jun 24, 2020

Do you know why so many people cannot afford housing in Sonoma County? Its the lack of affordable housing.  If you are poor,an illness, an accident, or a missed paycheck can catapult you to living on the streets, especially if most of your income is going into paying rent. TheSonoma County 2020 Affordable Housing Needs Report, published in May 2020, researched and written by Danielle M. Mazzella and Lindsay Rosenfeld attest via data and graphs to this sad truth.

2020-06-18Jun 18, 2020

Health and safety concerns within homeless encampments in Santa Rosa amid the COVID-19 emergency has reached a tipping point and plans are in place to begin removal and clean-up of the encampments located under the Highway 101 overpasses in the Downtown corridor and College Avenue june 24th by. First though a round of Covid 19 testing is called for and will be administered.  See also links added for solutions beyond moving the homeless community from place to place.

2020-06-03Jun 3, 2020

There are two basic reasons for being totally opposed to homes being rented to out-of-area guests. One is the behavior of the guests. If there is only a distant property manager and no responsible person on the property, guests can have parties, invite too many people so septic systems get overloaded, parking too many cars is a nuisance, noise levels are hard to control, or impossible without law enforcement intervention, and weekends during vacation season become opportunities for higher levels of stress instead of relaxation on days off from work. The other is the impact of available housing and neighborhoods devoid of neighbors. On the other side, tourism accounts for  massive amounts of money pouring into Sonoma County paying for wages and tax-dependent services.

2020-05-31May 31, 2020

Homeowner preference and higher initial costs for induction cookers appear to have been ignored in the subsequent reach codes outlined in the 2019 California building code, which went into effect January 1, 2020. Homeowner resistance to buying an all-electric residence and homeowner reluctance to giving up gas cooking is obliterated with the revised building code.

2020-05-26May 26, 2020

After the devastating wildfires of 2017 and 2018 some homeowners turned to contractors offering great deals, but they had no experience building homes. Homeowners would come to find out that their contractor didn’t have the experience needed to do the job right, or even finish their work. That’s why Senator McGuire introduced legislation   SB 1189 which addresses this issue by eliminating the one-size-fits-all contracting license. SB 1189 will also allow District Attorneys to prosecute unlicensed contracting companies who take advantage of wildfire survivors.

2020-05-13May 13, 2020

A temporary, managed, parking lot site to help individuals experiencing homelessness achieve safe social distancing amid COVID-19, is underway,as directed by State and County health officials’ guidance. Mayor Tom Schwedhelm along with City staff representing Police, Fire, Transportation & Public Works, and Housing & Community Services, as well asa Catholic Charities (the contracted service provider) will all be available during the meeting to provide program information and answer questions about the management of the site. On other news City Park Amenities are to Reopen and The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has partnered with local business sectors and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to develop SoCo Launch, an online portal featuring all of the resources needed to safely and successfully re-open businesses. 

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