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Student Off-campus Housing Assistance General Information

Helpful Hints | Rental Housing Problems | Average rental cost | Helpful Links | Rental Agencies

Helpful Hints

  1. Vacant apartments can be difficult to rent in Santa Rosa because of the high demand by students and non-students. It is necessary, especially for occupancy at the beginning of Fall semester, to submit an application 1 to 3 months in advance. Contact the apartment complex, directly, to request and submit an application.

  2. The less expensive accommodations and the ones nearest campus are taken first. Begin your housing search early and check the listings early if you require budget housing or a location near campus.

  3. Shared rental space is usually limited to one student only. Occasionally shared rental space is offered for student couples or a single parent and child.

  4. HUD rental subsidy programs for qualifying low-income students are impacted in Sonoma County and usually requires a waiting period of 2 to 5 years.

  5. The "No Pets" policy of many landlords is strictly enforced. Students with pets drastically restrict their choices.

  6. Use a written rental agreement if renting a vacant accommodation or a written roommate agreement if you are renting a shared accommodation. These can be obtained by contacting the Sonoma County Rental Information and Mediation Services (SCRIMS) at (707) 575-8787.

  7. The College does not have temporary housing for use while students look for off-campus housing. There are several motels in and around Santa Rosa which students and their parents can use until off campus housing arrangements are completed.

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Rental Housing Problems

You can refer to this Sonoma County agency for help.

Fair Housing of Sonoma County
250 Sebastopol Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 579-5033

Fair Housing of Sonoma County

Fair Housing:
* Counsels you on your fair housing rights
* Investigates discrimination complaints
* Mediates with owners and managers
* Assists with referrals to state and federal fair housing enforcement agencies
* Makes referrals to attorneys for legal help


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What are the Average Rental Costs?

Rent will vary noticeably from one accommodation to another depending upon factors such as location, size, condition, and special features. Average monthly rents for the Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park/Cotati areas are:

Shared accommodation (room in home or apt.) $350-$750
Vacant 1 bedroom apartment $650-$1200
Vacant 2 bedroom apartment $875-$1350
Vacant 2 bedroom, 1 bath house $1000-$1700
Vacant 3 bedroom, 2 bath house $1200-$2200

There are other factors to keep in mind. More and more apartments in the county are charging residents for water and garbage. Most of them have laundry facilities. Very few apartments in the county accept pets. You must start looking far in advance and expect to pay a pet deposit or even higher rent. When renting a house, all utilities tend to be the responsibility of the tenants and usually only include washer and dryer hook ups.

Rental houses usually require yard upkeep and because there is no property manager on site, repairs can take longer. Be sure to get information from the owner of the house on what to do in case of a maintenance emergency.

Lastly, many students prefer to live close to campus which has resulted in increased competition in an already tight market. Currently, the vacancy rate in the county is approximately 6%.

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Helpful Links

Press Democrat
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper publishes a daily classified section listing available rental accommodations as well as real estate for sale. The Press Democrat may also be reached at (707) 575-7500.

Sonoma County Transit
Sonoma County Transit provides general information about public transportation in Sonoma County including bus schedules, fares and maps. Sonoma County Transit may also be reached at (707) 576-7433. is a national rental listing service, which includes rental properties in communities surrounding SSU.

Provides information on carpooling and alternative transportation in the Bay Area. is an online resource for people who are seeking a roommate in cities throughout the U.S.

Craig's List
Provides and online listing of local share rentals as well as vacant apartments and homes.
Website has photos, floorplans and average rental costs and availability of many local apartment complexes.

Pacific Gas and Electric
Offers up to a 20% discount on your bill through the California Alterante Rates for Energy plan to people who qualify based on income and family size.

California Department of Consumer Affairs
Various publications outlining your rights as a tenant. Don't get taken advantage of. Become an informed renter!

Fair Housing of Sonoma County
Provides information and referrals for landlord and tenants reguarding discrimination, laws, and landlord tenant relationships.

Alliance Property Management
Provides lists of vacent rentals available in Santa Rosa.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD offers information on Renting and Fair Housing Rights.

Rental Agencies

The following rental agencies may be able to help you locate housing. Most charge a fee for their services.
DeDe's Rentals and
Property Management, Inc.
1150 B Coddingtown Center
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 523-4500
DeDe's Rentals
Premiere Property Management
746 Second Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 545-7368
Roommate Finders
1415 Fulton Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 527-6488

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