NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodBakersfield

Actions

New permanent supportive housing opens following supply chain setbacks

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 14, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Supply chain issue may have caused some delays for local affordable housing projects, but it didn't stop them entirely. The College Heights Cottages are finally open and taking in residents, like Briana Smith, who've been waiting for months for a place to call home.

  • Video shows the new College Heights Cottages, a new affordable housing project that will also double as permanent supportive housing.
  • The College Heights Cottages are finally open and taking in residents, like Briana Smith, who've been waiting for months for a place to call home.

"Very different than the navigation center with about 100, I'd say 100, 160 people," said Briana Smith.

Smith is happily adjusting to life in her new apartment, one of the 14 set aside for those awaiting housing placement at the College Heights Cottages.

"It feels amazing you know, it's my own" she said. "When I first got in here I was scared."

The new affordable housing development is also being used as permanent supportive housing, with half the units going to residents placed by local navigation centers and Flood Ministries.

There are 28 one-bedroom units total, complete with furniture, access to laundry services, and 24-hour security.

"You know when you finally get to the finish line you kind of forget about all the struggles that you had getting to this point," said Executive Director for Golden Empire Housing Stephen Pelz.

Pelz said when the cottage was first proposed over four years ago, they never expected to meet the delays they did due to supply chain problems brought on by the pandemic.

"It took forever," he said. "Way longer than it should have and there were a lot of frustrations along the way."

Those frustrations were felt also by residents waiting months on end, residents like Smith.

"It took a while," she said.

Veronica Morley speaking with Briana Smith, a new resident who moved into the College Heights Cottages after living at the M Street Navigation Center for over a year.

Smith found herself at the M Street Navigation Center for over a year after aging out of foster care and struggling with addiction. With the help of their programs, she's now looking forward to having a place of her own, finding a part-time job, and sticking with the services offered at the Cottages.

"That support involves us partnering with other agencies like Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Flood Ministries who are providing the on-site services, whatever they need to be successful," Pelz said.

All the units are restricted to household levels with incomes at or below 60% average monthly income.

For Smith, she's excited to take this chance and make it her home.

"I want to kinda get a Coca-Cola thing going on," she said. "I'm also a Dallas Cowboys fan so I want to decorate my bathroom in Dallas Cowboys. Sometimes it doesn't make sense but it's my style."


Stay in Touch with Us Anytime, Anywhere: