Immediately following the fires that destroyed one in 20 Sonoma County homes, 15,000 people found themselves without a place to live.
Within days Aaron Jobson, an architect with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, and Dan Blake, director of innovation and partnerships with the Sonoma County Office of Education, collaborated on a vision to create a transitional short-term housing solution for displaced individuals and families – one that also could help address the long-term need for affordable housing.
With a plan to begin home design and to secure housing locations, Samantha Kraesig, principal and creative director of Flight, LLC, joined the team to provide communication, marketing and strategy support to make the Homes for Sonoma project a reality.
There are two prospective building sites in Santa Rosa and Windsor. The goal is to build communities that include outdoor common space and quality, livable and sustainable cottages built for permanent use that also can be deconstructed and moved to future locations. Cottages are being designed with full-sized bedrooms and baths, modern and efficient kitchens, washers and dryers along with covered porches and decks.
The Homes for Sonoma team (www.homesforsonoma.org) consists of 24 partners, including architects, fiscal sponsor Burbank Housing, Rebuilding Together Petaluma, the North Coast Builders Exchange, 180 Studios, Jackson Family Wines, SRJC, the CTE Foundation of Sonoma County as well as other housing specialists, builders, designers, engineers, a law firm, a tool company and other funding sources.
Housing designs have been finalized, and Homes for Sonoma has launched a $4 million capital campaign to fund and build its first homes this spring.
“This is a 100 percent volunteer effort to provide a better option than traditional emergency housing,” said Kraesig.
“These homes will help families stay in our community, which, in turn, will stabilize enrollments in our local schools, keep our local workforce intact and maintain the vibrancy of our diverse community. Please help us by making a legacy commitment to Sonoma County and provide hope for those who have suffered the most.”
Updates and corrections, March 28, 2018: Project proponents say that obtaining permits will take longer than the 90 days proposed in the original story, and the total number of homes may be different from the 40 originally planned. Also, site acquisition also expanded beyond the First United Methodist Church land in Santa Rosa, mentioned in the original story, to a site in Windsor. The name of Rebuilding Together Petaluma was incorrect.