SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — People bundled up and waited in line for several days in hopes of finding a new place to call home in Santa Rosa.

David Modesto is one of the people who had been waiting since Monday for a chance to rent a new home in the city he loves.

“I’m established, I got a job here, my wife works in Calistoga,” he said. “It’s a beautiful place.”

But he’s one of dozens in a line that wraps around the block. Most who showed up will end up on a wait list.

“It shows how affordable housing is desperately needed in Sonoma County,” said Valerie Benkie with USA Properties Fund.

The apartment complex, set to open in May, features 1 to 3 bedroom apartments on the north side of Santa Rosa.

The company behind Tierra Springs is making it affordable with tax credits. Depending on income, rent for a one-bedroom starts at $400 a month, in a city where the average rent is over $1,500.

“The prices on rent is so ridiculous, it’s holding everybody down,” Modesto said.

At the end of last year, more than 97 percent of Sonoma County’s apartments were occupied, so competition is steep. Another study showed Santa Rosa ranked fifth for the nation’s biggest rent hikes last year.

 

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