What Can You Do?

Ultra-Speedy Actions:

0 to 5 mins

Quick Actions:

5-10 mins


10 mins to 1 hour

Meetings & Volunteering:

1 hour +

Who is Gen H?

We are nurses, firefighters, school bus drivers, grocery clerks, students, and day care providers. We are small businesses and big businesses.

We are your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends and family. We Are Gen H. And you are Gen H.

We are the people who love Sonoma County and want to live here. We want to thrive here, and do more than just make the rent. All of us. You. Me. Us. We are ALL Gen H.

Click here to learn more about the simple ways you can be involved.

What is Generation Housing?

Generation Housing is an independent advocacy organization that leads the work of Gen H. Generation Housing advocates for more homes, more types of housing — like downtown apartments and condos, courtyard fourplexes, and granny units, and more homes that people can afford.

Generation Housing was formed after the 2017 Sonoma Complex wildfires, to help clear the hurdles that have gotten in the way of Sonoma County’s being able to create the housing we need here.

What exactly do they do?

The staff at Generation Housing track and go to meetings of the planning commissions, city councils, and the Board of Supervisors to keep a close eye on housing issues and be a strong voice for housing.

They work with our elected officials locally, in Sacramento, and Washington D.C. on housing and housing funding legislation. They call problem-solving and coalition-building roundtables with city-planners, developers, and neighborhood leaders.

They do all this hard work with the sole purpose of bringing our local housing system into balance with our local needs.

What is a healthy housing system?

A healthy housing system has a sufficient number of housing units across a spectrum of income levels. This variety is important so that everyone (from doctors to CEOs to teachers to mail carriers to farmworkers to dishwashers) can find quality housing at no more than 30% of their income.

Generation Housing focuses on housing because they know that the state of a community’s housing system is closely tied to many different aspects of how we live: health, educational outcomes, the quality of the local environment, impact on climate change, and individual and community prosperity.

Are they a non-profit?

Yes.  Generation Housing is a nonprofit through the Tides Center, a fiscal sponsorship agent that works to support innovative solutions to advance social justice.

Generation Housing has a broad range of financial support from local philanthropic institutions, businesses, and individuals. Its work is championed and amplified by local leaders and volunteers who want to see Sonoma County be a vibrant place to live for generations to come.

The bottom line? Important things are happening.

Click here to get involved.

Does this have anything to do with me?

Yes. Every day, housing decisions are being made that will affect our future here in Sonoma County. These are decisions about what housing gets built new, which areas are zoned for housing, and which existing structures can be re-purposed, rezoned, or re-permitted.

And we ALL need to be in on these conversations.



Because there is currently a lack of places to live in Sonoma County that most youth, working people, and creatives are able to afford. And the needs of these people affect all of us.

And even if you are not someone who works in the service sector, you rely on everybody who does.

If you are not a young person, you may have one in your life that you want close by.

If you don’t wear a hospital badge, you may need help from someone with one on their shirt.

And if you are not a creative, you still want to see inspiring art and hear great music.

Think about everyone that is a part of your life—from your close circle of friends to the people you rely on for services, care, and entertainment. All these people need affordable places to live.

And important things are happening.

Click here to get involved.

What does “Affordable Places to Live” really mean?

It means, quite simply, places that working people can afford. The amount you pay for your housing should not be more than 30% of your income. But in Sonoma County, on average, folks pay nearly 50%. And when you have to pay a large portion of your income for rent or mortgage, you can’t actually live well.

What do we mean by that?

We mean you work too much to pay for your housing. Or you stay in spaces that are too small. Or you skimp on medical care, and cut corners on buying healthy food. You don’t save much because you can’t.

So sure, you can make rent, you can survive…but you can’t thrive.


Here’s an example–take dental care. If you spend too much money on rent, this means you have very little (or no) money left over for dental care.

So? Studies show that kids with dental problems miss school twice as much as kids without. Lower attendance leads to lower educational outcomes. And lower educational outcomes leads to lower earnings. And guess what? We’re back where we started.

Take a look at the chart below:

This chart shows you what 30% of someone’s income looks like every month if they make $28,000 to 36,000/year. Look at the column on the far right–that’s what this person has to spend on rent ($800-923/month).

But here’s where it gets tricky: the average median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Sonoma County is $1647/month. And that statistic is county-wide. If we were just talking Santa Rosa, that number jumps to $1,838/month. Do you see the issue here?

So what’s at the root of this? A fundamental problem here is the lack of supply. There is simply not enough housing in Sonoma County to safely and reliably house the people who live and work here. That’s what Generation Housing is working on—increasing supply.

But we need your voice to weigh in on what’s happening. Because decisions are being made now about where people are allowed to build, about what gets built new, and what gets repurposed or rezoned.

And the decisions we make now will affect us for decades to come.

Important things are happening.

Click here to get involved.

How many more homes does Sonoma County need?

Our big, audacious, moonshot (but totally achievable) goal:
58,000 homes by 2030

We have been underproducing housing for nearly two decades, leaving us 38,000 homes short right now. To keep up with our predicted population growth, we’ll another 20,000 by 2030

Read report here.


How can we build the housing we need?

Generation Housing has four key policy goals that will help us reach our goal:

  • End exclusionary zoning.

Why is this important?
Exclusionary zoning laws do exactly that — they exclude. They cluster multifamily homes in certain areas, keeping families from moving into neighborhoods with more resources and opportunities for them and their kids.

Exclusionary Zoning has been a primary driver of community-damaging ethnic and income segregation.

Success is:
Legalizing multifamily dwellings where only single-family homes were once permitted county-wide within two years from campaign launch.

  • Prioritize high-resource areas for lower-income housing opportunities.

Why is this important?
Diverse neighborhoods are healthy neighborhoods. We need to make sure that affordable housing is provided across all neighborhoods. Locating affordable housing in only certain neighborhoods creates (or maintains) racial and income segregation.

Success is:
Jurisdiction zoning and planning for high-resource neighborhoods to accommodate a proportional share of affordable housing.

  • Build smart: a diversity of homes for all incomes near transit & jobs.

Why is this important?
Building near transit and jobs is good for our health and environment. Prioritizing this type of housing can create more walkable neighborhoods, protect our open spaces, and reduce our climate footprint.

Success is: 
Local jurisdictions revising zoning policies to incentivize development of a diversity of homes, for all income levels, in transit and job rich areas within two years of campaign launch.

  • Reduce Time and Expense of Building Housing

Why is this important?
Multifamily housing development is lengthy, complicated, and expensive. It can cost from 400k to 750k to build a single housing unit. The process, even at its fastest, can take several years. Delays not only slow our progress with our goals, but also increase costs, which are ultimately paid for by us — homeowners and renters.

Success is: Adopting policies that streamline approval, reduce project costs and development risk, and simplify the permitting process.