Posted by on May 25, 2017 8:13 am
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Categories: North Bay

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(BANT) – The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this week approved a three-year lease agreement that will lead to the development of 12 “tiny houses” for homeless people.

The tiny houses pilot project, known as the Community Housing of Sonoma County Veterans Village, will be located on 30,000 square feet of unimproved land at 665 Russell Ave. in Santa Rosa that is adjacent to veterans housing at the Sonoma County Administration Center complex.

The county owns the land and is providing it at no charge, and Community Housing Sonoma County will own the tiny houses.

Tenancy at the Russell Avenue site could be extended beyond three years, or the pre-built, modular structures could be relocated to a site owned by Community Housing Sonoma County on West Hearn Avenue in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County.

The project is consistent with the Board’s goal of identifying housing solutions for all, and will demonstrate whether the combined housing and service model is a viable way to provide non-traditional housing structures for the homeless, according to the county’s Community Development Commission.

The total development cost of the tiny house project is $1,029,565.

“We are going to put roofs over heads that would have otherwise been on the street,” Board Chair Shirlee Zane said. “It is clear we need more housing, and we need it now. I look forward to seeing Tiny Houses built and filled this fall,” Zane said.

Officials said Sonoma County needs 17,144 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families. Median rents have increased more than 16 percent since 2000 but median-renter household incomes have decreased six percent. Officials say the county’s lowest income renters spend 68 percent of their income on rent.