DeNova Homes and the ‘affordable housing’ dilemma

Posted on October 28, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

We notice with displeasure (but no surprise) that, as part of the city requirement to provide affordable housing in their developments, DeNova Homes is offering two units of a duplex (3br, 2ba, 1,300 sqft) for nearly $3,000 a month each.

With work-from-home wealthy driving up Sonoma housing prices, that may indeed be “affordable.” DeNova was required to price them only for families making 110% of area median income, ruling out almost two-thirds of Sonomans.

But, hey, those are the old rules! 

We much appreciate that the City Council, with renter Logan Harvey as mayor, passed a broader, tougher inclusionary ordinance. It requires new projects to include units affordable to low-, very low-, and extremely low-income folks. 

That’s the “essential” workers who keep the city and its businesses running and may have lived here for a generation or two. 

We supported that, and we’re interested in going further. The city-sponsored community meetings two years ago called for fully half of new units to be affordable!

We hear DeNova has tied up quite a bit of the undeveloped land in the city — and that it applied for one permit at least (at MacArthur and 5th West) before the new ordinance passed. Presumably, the “affordable” units in that development will be of the $3,000-a-month type.

Sonoma needs a rock-solid plan to house the people who live and work here — this generation and next. That’s a task for Council and community alike in writing the upcoming general-plan housing element. 

Be there or let high housing costs run you out of town!

— Ken Brown, Sonoma

Jim McFadden, Boyes Hot Springs

David Kendall, Sonoma

One thought on “DeNova Homes and the ‘affordable housing’ dilemma

  1. I can assure you that the ‘affordable’ homes like the ones we developed in the 2-300 area of 1st street west have not been occupied to affordable clients since they were purchased but are now 2nd homes of well to do persons!

    there is no manner this city inspects or enforces these developer’s homes after they sell or even in times are rented. JOKE

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