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Sonoma County Gazette

A Soft Landing: Modular Buildings to Provide a Beautiful Temporary Home

Nov 26, 2018


By Annie Silverman

Imagine yourself sitting on the porch, admiring the beautiful landscape, and sharing a story with your neighbor. Walk inside to the compact but cleverly designed space, sit at the bar, and take a deep breath—you’re home.

Homes for Sonoma, a consortium of professionals from diverse fields, joined together to brainstorm solutions to the housing crisis exasperated by the 2017 fires.

Prior to the fires, Sonoma County faced a competitive housing market—the county’s median house price had reached an all-time high of $576,000. The county’s homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1 percent while the rental vacancy rate was 3.3 percent, according to the Sonoma County Economic Development Board's 2018 economic profile.

These numbers reflect data collected in 2016 and do not take into account the 5,636 structures destroyed or the 317 damaged in the 2017 fires, according to CalFire.

Needless to say, those facing displacement after the fires are presented with a myriad of challenges in securing stable, safe, and comfortable interim housing.

The solution that Homes for Sonoma created are low-cost, elegantly designed modular house communities located on private property leased and managed by a housing agency.

Residents who lost their homes in the 2017 fires will be able to call this new community home for a period of time within the next three years while they secure permanent housing. The homes are made to be mobile, meaning they can be deconstructed and reused for other housing applications.

This model presents both a short-term solution for immediate housing relief and a long-term solution for affordable housing options.

Daily Acts is proud to partner with Homes for Sonoma to host an educational workshop to install a beautiful water-wise garden at the very first model site on December 8th, 2018. Come take part in the action as we work alongside the residents who will occupy the first five homes and build community from the ground up.

You’ll learn more about this innovative project, as well as plant selection for a drought-tolerant and rainwater-friendly garden. We invite you to help welcome the new residents—bring a potluck dish to share as we will be breaking bread while we break ground. We hope to see you there!

When: Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 10am to 3pm.

Where: The address of the private residence will be provided after you register for the event. For more information please

What to bring: A potluck dish ready to share, a wheelbarrow and shovel if possible.

Annie Silverman is Senior Programs Manager forDaily Acts.


Dec 19, 2018
VIA EMAIL: Hello. I'm writing about recent articles that I've read in both the Press Democrat and the Sonoma County Gazette that describe the 5 new modular homes being created by your consortium that will provide temporary housing for fire victims who lost their homes in the 2017 fires. Neither story included any details describing whether any of the 5 new tiny homes will be accessible for those with physical disabilities Am I correct in my belief that none of the new, modular homes that Homes for Sonoma has created for fire victims, are physically accessible for either first-time residents who may or may not presently have a physical disability but may become physically disabled during the time they reside in them? And, in the future, when those residential units are moved to a more permanent location, will they be modified to make them fully accessible so Sonoma County residents with physical disabilities will be able to live in them? I look forward to your timely response. Thank you and Happy Holidays. Richard Skaff, Executive Director Designing Accessible Communities
- Vesta Copestakes

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