City of Sonoma Announces “Housing Our Community” Town Hall Series

Posted on April 2, 2019

Housing Our Community Town Hall Series

Housing Our CommunityIncreasing housing prices, changing household needs and constrained housing supply are challenges facing the City of Sonoma (City) along with other Bay Area and surrounding Sonoma County communities.  Based on increasing concern over this dilemma, the City Council contracted with Healdsburg based UrbanGreen, Inc to develop a community education and engagement program to create a robust and informed conversation on housing in the City of Sonoma.

The series is composed of three Town Halls around a theme of Learn | Discuss | Explore. The first Town Hall, Housing 101 will be on April 25, 2019, followed by a Housing Experts Panel, on May 16, 2019 and the third and final meeting of the series, an Interactive Community Workshop on June 20, 2019.

“The “Housing Our Community” Town Hall series will put a spotlight on the vital issue of housing diversity and affordability, with an emphasis on practical, real world solutions,” says Vice Mayor Logan Harvey, who serves on the City Council’s Housing Sub-Committee. “We hope to engage our community in a frank discussion about how housing gets built, how much we need, and where it should go. I’m looking forward to seeing Sonoma come together to address this critical issue!”  Councilmember Rachel Hundley, who also serves on the Housing Sub-Committee states, “We are excited for the City to host this series of Town Halls to bring our community together to learn, share and explore housing ideas and solutions. This is not an easy challenge to solve, but Sonoma has always stepped up when our future is at stake.”

All Town Halls begin at 6:00 PM and will take place in Stone Hall at the Vintage House Senior Center located at 264 First Street East in Sonoma. The City strongly encourages participants to attend all three forums, as the concepts, definitions and conversations build on one another.  A more detailed description of each event includes:

Town Hall #1 – LEARN, Housing 101
Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
at Vintage House, 264 First St E, Sonoma
This will be a lively presentation of trends, facts, current drivers and emerging solutions, followed by informal Question and Answer period.  Attendees will learn basic terms, drivers and factors that influence housing in our region to help gain a deeper understanding of housing dynamics in order to create a foundation for the next two Town Halls.

Town Hall #2 – DISCUSS, Housing Experts Panel
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
at Vintage House, 264 First St E, Sonoma
This session will feature a moderated panel discussion with experts who build and finance affordable and market rate housing – with a focus on practical, real world examples.  The panel discussion will be followed by a moderated Question and Answer period.  At this session attendees will hear from practitioners who are delivering housing and see how the concepts shared in the first Town Hall work in our region.

Town Hall #3 – EXPLORE, Community Workshop
Thursday, June 20, 2019, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
at Vintage House, 264 First St E, Sonoma
This extended evening will focus on an interactive community workshop to discuss what kinds of housing we need and where in the City limits.  Using a scenario and gameboard format, attendees will break into round tables and apply what they have learned in the prior two Town Halls, in search of practical solutions for our future.  The roundtable discussions, and what everyone learns will be followed by a community “priorities setting” exercise to begin framing potential actions we can take in addressing our challenge.

Take the Housing Our Community SurveyLight refreshments and childcare for school-age children will be provided so everyone can participate. The Town Halls will be recorded by Sonoma Valley Community Television and made available on the City’s web site and via Channel 27 for viewing after the events. To make sure our first Town Hall provides the information of greatest value to our community, please take a few minutes to help us by answering five simple questionstake the survey now!

Visit the Housing Our Community page for more information and to subscribe to receive email updates about the Housing Our Community Town Hall Series.

Questions? Contact David Storer, Planning & Community Services Director

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