Also: Home market shows signs of stability; Midstate receives honorThe Sonoma County Housing Coalition released its annual housing progress reports just in time for affordable housing week.

The study looks at the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, which is a state-mandated process for determining how many housing units are needed, including affordable units, and how the cities are doing in meeting those goals.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development determines the total housing need for a region, and ABAG distributes the need to local governments.

This allocation of need shows local governments the total number of housing units, by affordability, for which they must plan in their Housing Elements for the period 2007-2014.

In the progress report, put out annually, each city in Sonoma County was looked at and a status was given to each in terms of where they are for meeting their affordable housing goals set for 2014.

Sebastopol is 119 percent of the way to meeting its goal. Healdsburg is 99 percent. Windsor is 44 percent. Rohnert Park is 41 percent. Sonoma is 27 percent. Santa Rosa is 26 percent. Cloverdale is 23 percent. Petaluma is 18 percent. Cotati is 9 percent.

All in all, the county of Sonoma is 26 percent on the way of meeting its goal.

Paula Cook is the executive director of Community Housing Sonoma County and is on the board of the housing coalition.

“The impact of the housing report is that jurisdictions are focused on meeting their affordable housing need and are aware that we support their implementation of their housing element. It is an effective tool, and we have seen the positive impact.”


A number of events are taking place in the North Bay to honor Affordable Housing Week:

Monday, May 10

7:30-10:30 a.m. -- 2010 Affordable Housing Breakfast & Discussion at the Flamingo Conference Resort at Fourth Street and Farmer’s Lane, Santa Rosa. Cost: $35/person (includes full breakfast buffet)

Wednesday, May 12

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Groundbreaking for  Amorosa Village I and Amorosa Village II: Multifamily rental community in southwest Santa Rosa, 150 units under construction. 2740 Dutton Meadow, Santa Rosa

12 p.m. -- A Visual Tour of Sonoma County Affordable Housing: This event will be presented by Mark Krug of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. The event will be held at SSU in the Cooperage.

1 p.m. -- Napa Valley Community Housing is hosting a fundraising golf tournament to raise money for its efforts toward offering affordable housing to low-income families across the Napa Valley. The event includes lunch and is followed by a dinner and silent auction featuring a variety of great wines and other unique items. It is at the Eagle Vines Golf Club.

7 p.m. -- Unlock the Door to Affordable Rents, co-sponsored by Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless: A presentation will be given by the Housing Authorities of Sonoma County, the city of Santa Rosa and Burbank Housing Management Corp. For additional information, call 707-953-8988. It is in the Sonoma County Library Forum Room.

Thursday, May 13

1-3 p.m. -- Rowan Court Tours: Multifamily rental community in Santa Rosa, 62 units completed in 2009, 2051 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa

7:15 p.m. – The Mill Valley City Council and Mill Valley Affordable Housing Committee are co-sponsoring a panel, “Pathways to Affordable Housing – We Need Them All.” The event takes place at the Council Chambers, 26 Corte Madera Ave. The panel will be moderated by Ken Wachtel, city vice-mayor.


Continued strong demand and a tighter inventory of homes on the market helped keep Sonoma County home sales and prices relatively stable during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report by the research division of Prudential California Realty based on an analysis of MLS data.

Countywide, the median price of an existing single-family detached home sold during the first quarter fell slightly to $371,901, a 4 percent quarter-over-quarter decline but a 15 percent increase from $322,428 in the first quarter of 2009, the study found.

Sales of existing homes were off 10 percent following an especially robust fourth quarter, declining from 1,133 during the last three months of 2009 to 909 in the first three months of the current year, 11 percent below the year-ago total, according to the study.

Sales also were down quarter over quarter and year over year in the majority of Sonoma County communities.  An exception was Sonoma, where the median sales price was up 30 percent year over year on sales that were flat when compared with both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter a year ago.

Petaluma experienced a 26 percent increase in the median sales price on sales that were down from the previous quarter but up 15 percent from a year ago.  The median sales price of a home sold in Santa Rosa was 18 percent higher than a year ago and down slightly from the fourth quarter, even though sales were down sharply from the previous quarter and the year-ago period.

“Over the near term, an expected shortage of lower-priced inventory will continue to encourage multiple offers and should cause prices to continue to edge higher in the county’s more populated communities,” said Timothy Hedges, branch manager in the Prudential California Realty Sebastopol office.


Petaluma-based Midstate Construction was honored as the  Partner in Community Development for its work in affordable housing by Non Profit Housing of San Fransico at the 14th Annual Affordable Housing Leadership Awards on May 5.


Jeanne Wailes, a Sonoma Valley resident, has opened the first franchise of Pedal to Properties.

Pedal to Properties was founded by Matt Kolb in Boulder, Colo., as a full-service realty firm that assists clients with buying and selling homes through an optional service to view properties from cruiser bikes.

Prior to Ms. Wailes’ new business endeavor, she worked as a Sonoma Valley bike tour guide and a real estate agent.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.