6A        Morning Edition
9A        Music
3P        Fresh Air
4P        All Things Considered
6:30P  The Daily

7P        Eclectic After Dark
banner101 3

photo credit: 
With a lack of affordable housing, and years long, often fruitless waiting lists, Sonoma County is trying a new tack.
Officials Monday announced an effort to make one hundred existing dwellings affordable by recruiting some property owners into a federal housing program.
"The main goal is to get additional affordable housing in the area as quickly as possible," said Gilbert Martinez, a county spokesman. 
Under the program, landlords would agree to rent to qualified low-income tenants. Tenants would pay a percentage of their income, with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development making up the rest.
It's meant to buttress HUD's main program--Section-8 'housing choice vouchers.' While of great help on occasion, the majority of those lucky enough to receive a voucher in Sonoma County, often after waiting more than a year, are unable to find a unit before the voucher expires.
Martinez said the percentage of voucher recipients actually able to rent a dwelling stands at 42. 
The county receives almost 2,900 federal vouchers a year for distribution. But because there are so few affordable units in the voucher program available, the county stopped accepting applications for vouchers eight months ago.
Despite that, Martinez says the county has about 600 families on a wait list.
The new program would secure individual affordable units for at least 20 years, rather than tenant-based vouchers that may end up providing little more than false hope. 
Martinez said the new approach should bring faster results. 
"The project-based vouchers make additional affordable housing available in our area."
Applications to join the program from property owners are due at the county housing authority by June 9. Officials are hopeful they can have properties ranked and ready for approval in late July.
  • SoCo Calendar
  • Latest News
  • Right Now
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • First News
Read More
thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Read More

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.