Vintners Pledge Funds for Fire Victim Housing

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation commits $600,000 to help build affordable housing

by Wines & Vines staff
Homes for Sonoma is working to raise $4 million to build 40 cottages.

Santa Rosa, Calif.—The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation has announced a pledge of $600,000 toward the development of an affordable housing community comprised of modular cottages for individuals and families that lost their homes or were otherwise displaced by the October wildfires.

 According to the statement announcing the pledge, the money will come from the foundation’s Hamel/Fogerty Fund, and the group Homes for Sonoma will receive the gift.

“Access to housing is critical for our community to recover and thrive,” said George Hamel, Jr. of Hamel Family Wines on behalf of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation in the statement. “We’re proud to support this innovative project to build much-needed affordable homes in our area for those who were displaced by the fires.”

Homes for Sonoma is collaborating with architects, businesses and local planning officials to create neighborhoods of compact cottages clustered around outdoor communal areas, a soccer field and shared garden. The group is working with the cities of Santa Rosa and Windsor to establish such a community. The group’s goal is to raise $4 million and build 40 cottages and has also received donations from North Bay Fire Relief and the International Interior Design Association.

“Even before the fires, Sonoma County was a tight housing market. Our vision for modular homes not only meets the immediate housing needs of those impacted, but can also be part of a long-term solution,” said Aaron Jobson, architect and a member of the group’s executive committee.

Homes for Sonoma is planning to build the cottages with pre-fabricated components that will be assembled on site with the goal to speed up construction in light of the extraordinary demand on workers and building materials in the wake of the fires.

Beginning on Oct. 8, multiple wildfires burned out of control for days in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties and spread into parts of Lake and Solano counties. Sonoma County and Santa Rosa were particularly hard hit with the fires destroying about 5% of all the homes in the city.

The Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation estimates that more than 150 agricultural workers and their families were displaced by the fires.

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