Housing and Child Care: The Case of Sonoma County

The Housing Development + Child Care Facilities: strategies & Financing project was created in response to the 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County, which not only destroyed more than 2,800 homes, but also burned an estimated 400,000 square feet of commercial space – space that included child care centers. The devastation of the fires exacerbated an existing housing and child care crisis in Sonoma County. A 2018 housing market study estimated a need for 14,634 affordable rental units and a 2018 child care report shows licensed child care is available for only 25% of children with parents in
the workforce.

The dual housing and child care crisis created a need to promote strategies to co-locate child care with affordable housing. This approach seemed natural: housing plus child care would better meet the urgent needs of working families and a community working to recover from a disaster.

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