Sonoma County supervisors to consider housing homeless in tiny homes

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Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday are expected to take another next step toward creating villages of tiny homes to house homeless people.

Officials have identified six county-owned properties for the villages, which could include trailer homes, 70-square-foot camping-style cabins or slightly larger, 220-square-foot homes.

Supervisors first floated the tiny-home concept in July. They are expected to vote Tuesday on whether pay up to $75,000 for an analysis of sites for a pilot program, which could lead to the construction or purchase of dozens of structures. They could be located permanently or temporarily on government-owned lots scattered throughout Santa Rosa.

Potential sites include the parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, horse stalls at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, vacant lots at the county administration campus near Administration Drive and Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa and other properties off Russell and Kawana avenues.

Each site could house eight to 10 buildings, according to county staff.

The approach is part of a series of initiatives the Board of Supervisors has approved over the past year to address homelessness in Sonoma County.

County officials this year said 2,200 dedicated housing units are needed to properly shelter the roughly 3,000 people who sleep on the streets.

The tiny homes idea has been raised as an affordable way to address the chronic shortage of shelter for homeless people in the county — a shortfall compounded by the area’s torrid housing market, including skyrocketing rents. If successful, the idea could be replicated on other private and public properties, according to county staff.

If the county moves ahead, officials intend to enlist the help of developers and nonprofit agencies to build the structures.

A public hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday morning during the regular Board of Supervisors meeting.

The county could request proposals for the concept as early as December.

You can reach Staff Writer Angela Hart at 526-8503 or On Twitter @ahartreports.

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