SANTA ROSA -- The county of Sonoma today asked a judge in Oakland for an immediate block to actions federal home lending agencies have taken against energy-retrofit financing programs in 22 states, including the ground-breaking  Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, as a lawsuit filed by several jurisdictions with similar programs works its way through the courts.

"We continue to work to defend SCEIP and related PACE programs," said county spokesman Jim Leddy.

The county asked federal district court judge Claudia Walken in Oakland for the earliest available hearing date, which could be Nov. 18, to consider issuing a preliminary injunction against the Federal Housing Finance Administration and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The county wants them to back off from the administration's May and July policy moves that would bar Fannie and Freddie from backing loans with SCEIP or property-assessed clean energy, or PACE, liens.

Those policies include treating the PACE and SCEIP assessments as loans with with liens senior to institutional lenders as well as requiring all homeowners in Sonoma County and other locales with PACE financing to have higher requirements for loan underwriting such as higher loan-to-value ratios.

Court documents filed today

motion for a preliminary injunction

declaration by Liz Yager, program manager, SCEIP

declaration by Jeff Mathias, co-owner, Synergy Solar & Electrical Systems

declaration by Dick Dowd, vice president, Pinnacle Homes

declaration by Rod Dole, Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, County of Sonoma

declaration by Phyllis Gallagher, deputy county counsel, County of Sonoma