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Indybay Feature
Affordable Housing in Sonoma County
by Tess Von Arx
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2017 4:01 PM
More affordable housing in Sonoma County and assistance would help community members do better.
Sonoma County has an extremely high cost of living. Decent, affordable, and safe housing is a human right and focusing on ways to make housing assistance more accessible is key to a healthy community. How can we make it easier for people to access affordable housing?

Interviewing residents in Sonoma County I have learned why it is so difficult. Main reasons people are having trouble with subsidized housing assistance is that waiting lists can take up to eight years. Once they are “chosen” they must have deposits and great credit scores to even be eligible to use their vouchers in the 120 day period. Most apartments or private renters do not accept housing vouchers or they already have tenants with vouchers and do not wish to take more. This is a major problem within our community.

The HUD department states that one person per room is considered not crowded. A change that could bring more affordable housing is making it easier to make granny units or more rooms using garages. The permits needed cost a lot of money people simply do not have. Housing is something that needs to be improved throughout the county.

-Thank you,
Tess Von Arx