Age Friendly Sonoma County is a great place to grow up and grow old. We are here to help our cities become more Age Friendly; fostering health, well-being, inclusion and participation across the lifespan.
An Age Friendly Community benefits the entire community.
We are meeting with city leaders to introduce the Age Friendly Sonoma County initiative, to identify existing areas of alignment and to provide Age Friendly resources helpful to city planning and services.
Below are some current highlights of this city’s process…
Our First Meeting – Sonoma City Leaders and Age Friendly Sonoma County:
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
We met with Mayor Laurie Gallinan and City Manager Carol Giovanatto and look forward to further conversations.
Sonoma’s Existing Age-Friendly Alignment
Strategic Goals for City Planning and Development
The City of Sonoma’s Council 2016-2017 Goals make encouraging affordable and alternative senior and rental housing a priority. This includes exploring options for rent stabilization and an Age Friendly policy allowing junior second units in residential housing. In fact, the August 11th Sonoma Planning Commission Meeting specifically addressed these types of housing units and featured a presentation by the Marin County based non-profit Lilypad Homes. The city is also exploring options for posting a housing related assistance page on the City website, to direct residents to such resources as Share Sonoma County and Legal Aid of Sonoma County, HOME Project Services.
Another goal is to “provide reliable, safe and effective infrastructure (streets and roads, sidewalks, parking and pedestrian safety) throughout Sonoma. Options may include increasing public transportation within Sonoma, adding connector buses to the SMART station in Petaluma and to County services based in Santa Rosa.
Sonoma also plans to survey its local senior population to assess their needs. Results will be discussed at a City Council study session. This process could foster an in-depth Age Friendly conversation throughout the community!
The City of Sonoma’s 2015-2023 Housing Element Report highlights the critical need for affordable senior housing that offers options such as junior second units and cottage housing, in addition to “promoting greater housing security for seniors and low income households…” Comprising 37% of Sonoma’s total population, the report identifies residents aged 65 and older as the city’s largest special needs group, with housing maintenance and affordability of particular concern. The report states that “nearly three-quarters of Sonoma’s elderly renter households overpay for housing” and older homeowners may also “have difficulty performing regular home maintenance or repair activities.”
Current Age-Friendly Community Assets:
Vintage House Senior Center – Excellent programs and services for Sonoma’s older adults!
Additional City of Sonoma Resources:
Becoming Even More Age Friendly
According to the 2016-2020 Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging Area Plan, adults 65 years and older comprise 37% of Sonoma’s total population, the highest percentage in the County. As elsewhere in the county, state and nation, the number of older adults is projected to increase in Sonoma over the coming years. City leaders have the opportunity to thoughtfully address the challenges of an aging population.
Age Friendly Sonoma County is here to provide resources and support to city leaders and a growing number of Age Friendly community advocate volunteers. We are here to make Sonoma County is a great place to grow up and grow old, promoting well-being across the lifespan.
Age-Friendly Sonoma County Volunteers – Sonoma:
County Steering Committee Member – Sonoma Representative:
These volunteers will provide leadership for the countywide Age-Friendly initiative including guiding principles for the first two years of the WHO/AARP program process.
Sonoma Age-Friendly City Task Force Members:
These volunteers will guide the Age-Friendly process for their city. They will include city residents and other individuals who live in the surrounding unincorporated area that identifies with this particular city.
Age-Friendly Community Advocates:
These volunteers will provide Age-Friendly advocacy through shorter term, more focused and one-time activities that support the work of the County Steering Committee, the City Task Forces and other related Age-Friendly events.
To learn more about Age-Friendly Volunteering, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!
To learn more about Age Friendly volunteer opportunities, click here.