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Rohnert Park’s W Section to see construction of for-sale, rental housing geared toward local workforce

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On Your Corner

This story is part of a new regular feature spotlighting residential and commercial developments going up across Sonoma County. Look for future stories about the projects rising near you, and contact the writer with questions about ongoing construction or planned developments in your neighborhood.

What: Willowglen Subdivision

Where: Rohnert Park, Valley House Drive, between Petaluma Hill Road and Bodway Parkway

Project: 477 homes, including 72 affordable units

Approval date: April 2019

Expected completion: Spring 2021

Seventy-two new units of affordable housing are part of a residential development under construction in Rohnert Park’s W Section neighborhood at the city’s southeastern edge.

The Willowglen project entails 477 dwellings, including 405 market-rate units and the remainder set aside to meet affordable-housing requirements. The 72 income-restricted units comprise rental and for-sale properties priced for a range of households, from the very low to median levels of affordability.

The rental units will make up a future 36-unit apartment complex that targets a mix of people in the 30% to 80% range of the area median income, or individuals making about $20,000 to $60,000 annually. A family of four would qualify with a household income of no more than $86,400 per year.

The for-sale homes will go to residents in the 50% to 120% range. That equates to an individual with an annual salary of about $38,000 to $78,350, or a family of four with a household income between $54,000 and about $112,000. The sale price on duplex-style units could range between $300,000 and $350,000.

“This is a really exciting project,” said Jenna Garcia, a city housing planner. “It’s able to provide more affordable housing in a time where the community and the state is in a housing crisis and a lot of people are in need of affordable housing. And second, the ownership homes are available for an essential workforce population who may not otherwise be able to afford a home for their family — the teachers, nurses, pastors and law enforcement officers.”

The apartment portion of the complex, which will include 18 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom units, is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy in summer 2020. Rents are expected to range between $700 a month for a one-bedroom unit and up to $1,750 for a three-bedroom unit.

The first four for-sale homes, which are spread across two duplex-style units, were finished this spring and are already filled.

Another 16 for-sale duplex-style homes also will be finished by next summer. The final eight, plus eight townhomes, will be completed in spring 2021. Each of the for-sale units are two- or three-bedroom homes.

The city has partnered with the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County on the Willowglen’s affordable for-sale units. The Petaluma-based nonprofit helps many first-time homebuyers navigate the process and offers assistance programs during monthly check-ins, as well as works to maintain the units as permanently affordable.

“This is really all about workforce housing,” said Dev Goetschius, founder and executive director of the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County. “It is really about quality of life, and being able to live and work locally. We all benefit when the people who are the fabric of the community are not priced out.”

Rohnert Park’s population of 43,000 people lives in the city’s more than 17,000 housing units. Of those, 1,055 are defined as affordable and geared toward the local workforce, according to city data, with city officials expecting to add 329 more — including the 72-unit Willowglen affordable project — by the end of 2023.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin Fixler at 707-521-5336 or kevin.fixler@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @kfixler.

On Your Corner

This story is part of a new regular feature spotlighting residential and commercial developments going up across Sonoma County. Look for future stories about the projects rising near you, and contact the writer with questions about ongoing construction or planned developments in your neighborhood.

What: Willowglen Subdivision

Where: Rohnert Park, Valley House Drive, between Petaluma Hill Road and Bodway Parkway

Project: 477 homes, including 72 affordable units

Approval date: April 2019

Expected completion: Spring 2021

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