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Sagewood Apartments: Kern County's solution to housing crisis for farm workers

23ABC’s Breanna Polk paid a visit to a new affordable housing development that is being built to house agriculture and farm workers.
Posted: 2:38 PM, Aug 08, 2023
Updated: 2023-08-08 17:38:50-04
Sagewood Apartments Affordable Housing (FILE)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In South Bakersfield are the Sagewood Apartments. It’s an affordable housing development that consists of 72 units ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms for agricultural and farm workers. It’s one of the many ways the city of Bakersfield is working to combat the housing crisis.

It’s a mission that’s been on the city’s radar. Bakersfield Councilwoman Manpreet Kaur of Ward 7 says one member of an ag family will be able to qualify their entire family to live in the new housing units.

“Especially in a place like Kern County where we really feed the nation, we feed our state, America, the world, and it's so valuable to know that we can now place that value and with this project encourage folks to seek out affordable housing.”

The city’s Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development Jenni Byers says all units will be restricted to farmworker families making 30 to 60 percent or less than the area's median income. She goes on to explain how this project is being funded.

Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development Jenni Byers (FILE)

“The city did put $2.5 million towards that through a process that we did through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. A million of that $2.5 is from Home Funds. That’s our community development block grant funds. The other $1.5 is through our PSVS measure which included adding affordable housing to the community.”

Kaur goes on to express the importance of having affordable housing that meets, “the definition of affordable at every income level.”

Currently, there is only a three percent rental availability in our community and that is why the city’s efforts don’t stop there.

Bakersfield Councilwoman Manpreet Kaur of Ward 7

“We need more progress, we need more housing," continued Kaur. "We need housing quicker, so we can keep people housed and we can make sure people have the aspirations to live in a project like Sagewood but also then to the next level which is home ownership.”

Kaur ads the affordable housing will also consist of a community garden and recreational resources for the farmworkers and their families to enjoy.

“There are going to be shared community spaces with services also available and different activities that will be run by those who are keeping this facility running. That is why it is so important that projects like these are seen and are happening across our city in every neighborhood.”

The city says the development of this project should be complete by the end of this year. For more information or to apply for housing, you can visit the Sagewood Apartments website.


The Kern Housing Authority provides assistance to people who get at least $5,753 of their annual income from farm labor and multiple housing assistance options are available in communities throughout Kern.

These options are often vital for keeping families together with the California Department of Housing and Community Development saying that as of 2012 an estimated 75 percent of farmworkers worked alongside or lived with family members.