Housing Our Community Town Hall Series

Increasing housing prices and constrained housing supply are challenges facing the City of Sonoma along with other Bay Area and surrounding Sonoma County communities.  Based on increasing concern over this imbalance, the City Council contracted with UrbanGreen, Inc. to develop a community education and engagement program for members of the community to take part in a robust and informed conversation on housing in the City of Sonoma.

The series was composed of three Town Halls around a theme of Learn | Discuss | Explore. The first Town Hall, Housing 101 was 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.

A more detailed description of each event includes:

Town Hall #1 - LEARN, Housing 101 (Watch a Recording and View the Presentation)
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 (Watch a Recording and View the Presentation, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3)
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. See more information about the panelists.

Panelists include:

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 within 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.

All Town Halls began at 6:00 PM and took place in Stone Hall at the Vintage House Senior Center located at 264 First Street East in Sonoma. The City strongly encouraged participants to attend all three forums, as the concepts, definitions and conversations build on one another.

Light refreshments and childcare for school-age children was provided so everyone could participate. The first two Town Halls were recorded by Sonoma Valley Community Television and made available on the City’s web site and via Channel 27 for viewing after the events.

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