Sonoma Complex Fire Urgency Ordinance
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has adopted several Urgency Ordinances to address the immediate need for housing for persons displaced by the Sonoma Complex Fires. Click here for more information.
Price Gouging After Fires
Price Gouging Protections Extended By Governor through December 31, 2019.
California Penal Code Section 396 generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to rental housing and hotel accommodations. The Governor has extended price gouging protections for Sonoma County through December 31, 2019.
Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, injunctive relief and mandatory restitution. The District Attorney and the Attorney General can enforce the statute. Our office will investigate all reports of price-gouging.
There are many factors that go into evaluating whether the price gouging prohibitions have been violated. The fact that a price has increased or is greater than what other similar establishments charge is not the sole determining factor. Many times, there are legitimate reasons such as increased costs that may justify a price increase.
Complaints can be made on the District Attorney’s website at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/District-Attorney/, or by calling (707) 565-5317. It would be most helpful if victims or witnesses could provide the District Attorney’s Office with emails, pictures, or other documentation showing the before and after prices.
SOS fire-related grants offered for low-income residents
To provide a financial boost for those affected by the fires, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund (SOS) is offering special assistance grants to low-income residents for up to $3000. Through April 30, 2018, residents can apply for a special assistance grant at one of the Sonoma County partner agencies. The grants aim to help those who lost possessions, jobs or income due to the fires: get or keep housing by paying a month’s mortgage, rent or security deposit; cover utility bills; buy essential household furniture, a wheelchair or other vital health aids; or cover costs of medically required dental care and non-routine automotive repairs for critically needed transportation.
Aid may be available even if the resident received or will receive other fire-related grant monies. For more information on where to apply and who is eligible, use this link.
FEMA Manufacturing Housing Units
FEMA transitional housing units will provide temporary housing to displaced residents for at least the next 18 months. FEMA oversees the management of enrollment of individuals into these housing solutions.
Apply online at http://www.disasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362.
This website has information on hotels/motels that have registered as available for emergency housing and provides information for impacted residents who are seeking housing.
Wildfire survivors are advised to stay in touch with the FEMA Helpline here, or by phone at 800-621-3362. TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. These toll-free numbers operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time, seven days a week, and are staffed by operators ready to assist survivors in their languages. Registrants whose information changes are strongly urged to report the changes to FEMA.
December 11, 2017, was the deadline for Californians in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties to apply for federal disaster assistance. If a survivor experienced extenuating circumstances that prevented them from registering during the registration period, they may register up to 60 days after the registration deadline. All late registrations are processed on a case by case basis.
Use of Travel Trailers & Recreational Vehicles
Manufactured and Mobilehomes
California Department of Housing and Community Development oversees registration, titling and inspections of Manufactured and Mobilehomes. Find out more about what they do and their resources by clicking here. In addition, they have a tool to locate mobile home parks near you, click here to use that tool.
Aggregate Rental Housing Listings
Technology-oriented service providers are helping to quickly build up resources and information focused on access of rental opportunities in the Sonoma County area. Zillow, Airbnb and Socrata have teamed up to create a new online tool with available housing rental inventory.
The map pulls all available long-term, short-term rental and home share listings from the following sites on one map:
- MLS Listings
In addition, these companies have also opened portals on their own websites highlighting the need and elevating awareness around this need.
If you are aware of an available housing development site or housing development resources please contact us at: HousingResources@sonoma-county.org. County staff is actively collecting information on sites suitable for temporary and permanent housing development. Please include all relevant site information including Address, APN, available utilities, and potential unit count.