North Bay Next Update, November 2023

We are excited about the response from jurisdictions seeking to model solutions to affordable housing production. In the last month, we have begun to discuss implementation strategies with Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Windsor, and Petaluma.

We want to congratulate the following jurisdictions that have taken initial steps to move data-driven solutions to the top of their agendas:

  • Rohnert Park for being the first Sonoma County jurisdiction to endorse the Bay Area Housing for All (BAHA) bond by a unanimous resolution
  • Healdsburg recently conducted a study session and discussed the BAHA bond in November, and will consider putting forward a resolution endorsing it in the new year;
  • Santa Rosa will be discussing BAHA bond in December via Study Session
  • County of Sonoma is moving forward with plans to place BAHA on their agenda

Our rollout of North Bay NEXT policy briefs continues with the release of our Incentivize Affordability plan–a proposal to restructure impact fees to ensure new Affordable housing projects receive special preference when seeking to build in Sonoma County. As part of our plan – modeled on Sacramento’s highly successful trial program which enabled them to surpass their state mandated requirements – affordable projects will get relief from onerous fees that interfere with completion. Fee relief is part of our holistic policy platform and serves as the best solution to offset costs at a time when elevated interest rates and rising material costs threaten to bring affordable housing production in the county to a halt. If you are interested in the details of our plan as well as evidence of past success, please read them here.

Looking ahead to the new year, you can support North Bay NEXT by adding your voice to our petition and utilizing our letter to the editor tool. Hearing from residents ensures that our council members identify the crucial role that housing plays in our daily lives. Showing up to council meetings empowers our elected officials to direct staff on how best to develop policy.