Local Area

There are many options for living in the local area. We suggest that you start your housing search early, which should make finding a place to live much easier. However, make sure that you check out the information about income requirements and co-signer on this website before seeking any housing in Sonoma County.

Housing In Sonoma County

There are many different types of housing in Sonoma County. Students live in houses, apartments, mobile homes, condos, townhouses, and trailers. The cities of Rohnert Park and Cotati are home to students who want to live close to campus, typically within three miles of the the campus. The cities maintain many bike trails leading to the campus and there is a very good local transit system covering all of Sonoma County. The City of Santa Rosa is located seven miles north of the University with a population of more than 150,000. Many SSU students choose to live in Santa Rosa because there is more housing available, as well as more part time jobs. Other towns such as Petaluma and Sebastopol are located 5 and 10 miles from the campus respectively. Because they are smaller, housing is harder to find in these somewhat rural communities.

Most apartment buildings in the county have an income minimum requirement of three times the amount of rent in order for an applicant to qualify. With the average two bedroom apartment running $1,200 per month, an applicant would have to make $3,600 per month to qualify. It is difficult for many students to meet this requirement and it may be necessary to have a co-signor to complete a rental agreement. Financial aid, including loans or scholarships, would be considered income.

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 Rohnert Park/Cotati and Santa Rosa areas are: 

  • Shared accommodations - $800 - $1500 
  • 1 bedroom apartment - $1400 - $3500
  • 2 bedroom apartment - $1675 - $4000
  • 2 bedroom house - $1800 - $3500
  • 3 bedroom house - $2500 - $4500

All CSU campuses are required to identify the average rental costs of a one-bedroom apartment in the local area to assist students in understanding costs of living while enrolled at a CSU. A recent market housing rental survey was completed in January 2018 to determine the average one-bedroom apartment rental rate. The average monthly rental rate in Rohnert Park is $1451 to $1716 which includes units within a 3 mile radius of campus. Outside of the Rohnert Park area rates will vary from town to town depending on square footage and amenities.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

  • More and more apartments in the county are charging residents for water and garbage.
  • Most of the apartments 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.
  • Rental homes often 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 repairs are needed quickly.