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September 27, 2020
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Cotati’s homeless and affordable housing

By: Paul Matli
March 13, 2020

California is known for many things: beaches, Redwood forests, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. On the flip side, it’s also known for homelessness and high cost of living. Housing is the biggest issue in the state at the moment and it’s not just in areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles; it’s in Sonoma County as well.

According to data brought up by Councilmember John Dell’Osso Sonoma County has the highest number of homeless in the country per capita with over 3,000. Though the number has decreased from 4,000 it’s still a part of a bigger problem. More specifically, California has 47 percent of the homeless population in the country. This might not seem like that much of a surprise considering California’s population, but it’s still something worth noting when discussing the issue of homelessness.

So, what’s the cause of this? There’s a number, but the one that’s become a frequent conversation at the Cotati City Council is housing. 

Almost every meeting it seems the topic of housing pops up either in public session or on the consent calendar. Tuesday night’s meeting wasn’t any different. The housing crisis in Cotati was talked about in a power point format and then was discussed again by City Manager Damien O’Bid.

O’Bid mentioned after the PowerPoint about the seven units which were currently constructed thanks to the council passing grants. He also mentioned efforts to implement housing element table D, continuing to implement inclusionary housing 10-plus units, website improvements for sharing information, continuing to coordinate with regional partners, future housing work to further implement goals and the ADL Ordinance.

After the presentations the council had a lengthy discussion regarding the effects of housing. They all mentioned how important housing is because of not only the homeless population, but because of the low-income citizens of Cotati who need housing. The resolution passed 5-0 when put to the vote.

Some other important details from the council meeting included a review on the proposed water transmission system for the year 2020-21. The budget according to the presentation was 10.24 million and one of the major projects was the Dry Creek habitat enhancement Phase IV which should be completed the summer of 2021.

City Manager O’Bid in his report added some key bits of information community members might be interested in. He says work is starting next week at the Ranch House which was a major topic of discussion for many council meetings previously. Something else to note is on Saturday March 28, the annual community yard sale is back. Just like every year all the extra items will be donated to charity.

For community members who want to make their voice heard, the next meeting is March 24 at 7 p.m. in Cotati City Hall. It’s unclear what the topics will be about, but those who want to come are welcome.