The Press Democrat: Sonoma County housing bond seen by supporters as way to bolster affordable stock

The Press Democrat: Sonoma County housing bond seen by supporters as way to bolster affordable stock
March 3, 2018 Peter

Sonoma County voters may be asked this fall to support a massive housing bond aimed at solving a housing crisis exacerbated by the devastating October wildfires. Details of the proposed measure are still being worked out, but supporters are suggesting a number north of $300 million would be needed to make a sizable dent in the shortage of affordable housing in the county. “If this county does not pass an affordable housing bond now, I don’t think it ever will,” said Santa Rosa City Councilman Jack Tibbetts. “I think that will say a lot about who we are as a community.” Tibbetts, who has emerged as a leader in the effort, said he’s eying a number between $300 million and $400 million. A survey conducted in July and again in January used $370 million. The local proposal comes as California voters this November face a decision on a $4 billion housing bond meant to fund low-income developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans. Various Bay Area counties have passed housing bonds of their own in recent years. In 2016 alone, voter-approved measures in Santa Clara, Alameda and San Francisco authorized up to $950 million, $580 million and $261 million for affordable housing, respectively.

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