Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
more>>
Mission De Sonoma, by Barbara White Perrt
The Sonoma Mission — December 24, 1827
Food & Wine
more >>
unnamed (50)
Cocktail nation
Columnist, Blogs & Reports
more >>
Bob Edwards
Snark Infested Waters
Bob Edwards

Santa, about that affordable house…

Affordable housing is a many-faceted issue that makes it challenging to fashion quick solutions that a majority of voters can support. Absent my winning the next big Powerball and writing a check to cover the cost of 200 new low-rent apartments, the core solution (as former councilmember and mayor, Larry Barnett, has long argued) is a public and/or privately established housing fund to subsidize affordable housing construction here in one of the highest cost of living areas of the country. The size and lifecycle of any such fund will depend on how much housing the body politic thinks is needed and/or tolerable, and how it might impact them financially and otherwise. Morality notwithstanding, the issue is population and income-driven. Because many people want to live in Sonoma instead of, say, Sheepdip, CA, housing demand here is very high vs. the supply of digs affordable for most. Of course, that could change when the economy tanks, or if there’s a Zika outbreak. But seldom mentioned is that many current residents otherwise sympathetic to the need for more affordable housing want housing prices to go even higher. E.g.: (a) Those who want or need to sell their home and get the most $$ possible, especially if they paid a bundle for it, (b) Realtors, who make bigger commissions selling high-priced housing,  (c) Builder/developers, who make more profit on market-rate housing, (d) Banks and lenders, who make more by financing homes that cost millions vs. homes that cost thousands, (e) Current homeowners, who want their property values to soar and build equity which many count on to finance retirement, new cars, college for kids, and/or their divorce. (f) Landlords, for whom upscale housing justifies higher rents and brings a bigger return on investmen. It’s composition may vary but the size of the contingent is probably pretty constant and of course includes some NIMBYs who don’t want ‘housing projects' full of ‘those people’ dragging down property values. NIMBY’s can be politically significant if they vote or influence those who do. Dismissing NIMBY concerns doesn’t help as much as taking them into account when fashioning affordable housing solutions.  Given resident interest in enhancing the value of their own holdings, getting even wider support for a meaningful affordable housing fund may require appealing to higher sensibilities.  
Continue Story...
Santa, about that affordable house… Santa, about that affordable house...

Affordable housing is a many-faceted issue that makes it challenging to fashion quick solutions that... Continue

Student reporter: good grades, or actual learning? Student reporter: good grades, or actual learning?

Jacquelyn Torres | Sonoma Valley High School Let’s say that you are offered two choices: either you... Continue


• The smoke has cleared, but it’s likely health problems will get worse
• Susan Gorin’s ‘cold night’ to support the homeless
• A new wave for ‘Old School
• Under the Sun: Brian Sebastian MD, the singing doctor
• Sebastiani Theatre releases a blockbuster
• Sonoma teen threatened with baseball bat, suspects arrested
• Ride local — the Route 32 bus is now free
• Hope for the homeless?
• One Cold Night to aid homeless youth
• Holiday gift program brightens Valley spirits
Letters & Opinion
more >>
VIDEO
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
What's Up With That? - Katy Byrne
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
Voices of the New Majority - Loretta Carpio Carr
Creative Arts - Deb Carlen, Editor
Sun In-Depth Report - Sonoma Valley Sun
Under the Sun: Interviews -
Rude Awakenings - Catherine Sevenau
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
Conversations on Aging - Kelsey Maddox
Find What You're looking For

Archives

Events & Entertainment
more>>
train show1
Now boarding: model train show
THE SUN EMAIL UPDATE
Sign up for our free daily email with the latest news, events and opinion.
What We're Following
more>>
Stories of interest from around the Web
Replace egg nog with vodka and skim milk, and other holiday weight-loss tips
> McSweeney's - December 18th, 2018
Broadband customers due $63 million for scammy, crappy internet service
> Motherboard - December 18th, 2018
Costco’s huge Nebraska operation to meet demand for 80 million chickens per year
> Civil Eats - December 15th, 2018
A plan to cool the earth — by dimming the sun
> Nature - December 15th, 2018
How Brexit could ruin English soccer 
> FiveThirtyEight - December 15th, 2018
You can sell your old albums and CDs — but not digital songs
> Slate - December 14th, 2018
Why are people in Arizona harassing and attacking self-driving vehicles
> The Arizona Republic - December 14th, 2018
Folks in Chico not happy with plans to help Paradise withpost-fire housing, clean-up
> Chico Enterprise-Record - December 14th, 2018
Ex-wife of Russian billionaire gets $572 million — and his helicopter
> Reuters - December 13th, 2018
Amazon to New York, now Apple to Austin, Texas
> The Verge - December 13th, 2018
To beat gridlock in Seattle, UPS tries delivery via electric ‘cargo tricycle’
> Wired - December 7th, 2018
The ten best science books of 2018
> Smithsonian - December 7th, 2018
Why did investigators remove piece of PG&E tower in Camp Fire probe?
> San Jose Mercury News - December 6th, 2018
The jaw-dropping number of people with jaw problems 
> Connect with life - December 6th, 2018
Pentagon hones new technology to ‘monitor’ social media
> Motherboard - December 5th, 2018
Zut alors! Why the French are so pissed off
> The Conversation - December 5th, 2018
Sonoma Valley restaurants and wineries open on Christmas Eve and Day 
> Sonoma Visitors Bureau - December 4th, 2018
North Bay Assemblymember Levine proposes tax on semi-automatic guns
> Sacramento Bee - November 29th, 2018
French Fries are unhealthy, NY Times reveals
> New York Times - November 29th, 2018
Sinatra’s Palm Springs pad (9 bedrooms, 13 bath) for sale at $4.5 mil
> L.A. Times - November 29th, 2018
More Following Stories...
Link to Live Crime Map