Stephen’s family owns a small winery in Southern Sonoma. So when Stephen graduated from college in May of last year and landed a job as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, he moved in with his family to save on rent for a bit. 

After a couple months, Stephen and his girlfriend, who is still a student at Sonoma State, decided to look for an apartment together in Sonoma — that way, they split the commute between school and work. But the search for an affordable apartment proved to be challenging, even for someone with a solid job like Stephen. After looking at overpriced apartments and rooms in group houses all over the county for nine months, they were thrilled to find a two-bedroom, one-bath 1000 square foot apartment for $1850. Stephen is a full time working professional and still doesn’t feel secure with his housing situation, he wants, and I quote, “Sonoma County’s elected officials to do something. They need to get working on development because we so desperately need more housing options, especially higher density apartments in city centers like Santa Rosa.”

Stephen loves Sonoma and feels so lucky to be able to live here with his girlfriend. He hopes that the community can grow to be more affordable and that housing can be accessible for everyone.