Law has streamlined hundreds of affordable housing units in Sonoma County

28 April 2023

Five hundred and twelve.

That’s how many affordable housing units have been approved in Sonoma County under state Senate Bill 35, a 2017 law that made it easier for developers to get entitlements to build below-market rate, multi-unit housing.

Many say the law — which allows developers to bypass certain steps in the process of getting their approvals — is a powerful means to create sorely needed affordable housing for residents being priced out of the county.

In Santa Rosa, for example, four approved SB 35 projects with a combined 336 units of affordable housing represent about a quarter of the affordable units completed within the past two years, currently under construction or approved and pending construction in the city.

“Overall, SB 35 has been an incredibly effective tool when it comes to streamlining affordable housing development in Sonoma County,” said Calum Weeks, policy director of Generation Housing, a North Bay affordable housing research and advocacy group.

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