Investigation Reveals Substandard, Unhealthy Housing Across Sonoma County

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 (John Burgess/ThePressDemocrat)

A yearlong investigation by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat has uncovered squalid and unhealthy conditions in local rental units, including mold and cockroach and rat infestations. The newspaper reports that many tenants are low-income or migrant farm workers who fear eviction if they complain. Sonoma County officials say they are understaffed and can't keep up with the high volume of complaints they receive. Forum discusses the investigation and reforms being considered by county officials.


Efren Carrillo, Chairman, Sonoma County's Board of Supervisors; represents Sonoma County's 5th district, which includes southwest Santa Rosa, Monte Rio and Guernville

Daniel Sanchez, government affairs director, North Bay Association of Realtors

Angela Hart, reporter, Santa Rosa Press Democrat; authored the series on substandard housing, which was produced as a project for the California Health Journalism Fellowship

Edie Sussman, Santa Rosa tenants rights lawyer, specializes in substandard housing cases

Tennis Wick, director, Sonoma County's Permit and Resource Management Department

Sherry Gann-Kennemer, rental tenant in Penngrove