Update on Short-Term Housing Actions in Response to 2017 Fires

Posted on January 7, 2019

In response to the October 2017 Fires disaster in Sonoma County, the City Council appointed a Housing Subcommittee (then Mayor Hundley and Council Member Harrington) to identify possible actions for addressing housing needs created or exacerbated by the fires.  In November 2017, the City Council adopted several recommendations for short-term actions including the following items.  All of these measures were set to expire on December 31, 2018, unless extended by the City Council.

On December 3, 2018, the City Council reviewed these temporary housing emergency measures and extended these items as noted below.

Temporary Housing – This includes temporary occupancy of recreational vehicles, guest rooms, guest houses, and pool houses as temporary housing for persons displaced by the fires. The ordinance also allows legal vacation rental to be used as long-term rentals for more than one year without losing their vacation rental status. These measures will expire on December 31, 2019, unless extended by the City Council.

Rent Gouging – Continue to take complaints on potential rent gouging and refer cases as appropriate to the County District Attorney for further review and enforcement.  The Governor has extended the protections against price gouging to May 2019.

Fee Waiver for Accessory Dwelling Units – A program establishing an Accessory Dwelling Unit Fee Waiver Program to encourage the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units.  Fee waivers are limited to one per residence and capped at $5,000.  There is $30,000 available for this program as one-time funding.  The program will terminate on June 30, 2019, unless extended by the City Council.

For more information, visit the Housing and Housing Opportunities and Strategies pages.

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