Between October 8-31 2017, wildfires destroyed over 7,500 structures, which included over 5,000 homes in Sonoma County. On October 10, 2017, the President signed a Major Disaster Declaration for the wildfire affected areas, including Sonoma County. In February 2019, the Russian River overflowed its banks damaging over 2,000 homes in Sonoma County, with more than 1,760 suffering major damage.
Current Housing Need
Sonoma County currently needs 18,000 “new” homes to meet existing demand.
Sonoma County needs housing of all types, for households at all incomes. In January 2019, the California Department of Finance published a report indicating that the population of Sonoma County had declined by 2,207 people, since the wildfires. This exodus is due to the shortage of housing, in particular the lack of affordable housing. It is estimated that 18,500 people commute to jobs in Sonoma County, because they cannot afford homes here. Rents have increased by over 32% since the wildfires and home prices have jumped by over 58%. The median priced home in Sonoma County spiked at $705,000 in 2018 and is currently at $565,000. The median household income in the County is $80,400. The income required to purchase the median priced home is $125,000, which is less than 23% of County households.
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