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Tiny homes in Oildale nearing completion

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jan 19, 2024
  • Video shows the newly construction tiny homes at the Supportive Services Village in Oildale
  • The 50-unit Supportive Services Village is set to be completed this year and will soon begin taking referrals.
  • Initially, this project was met with protest and concerns from the community, however, as we get closer to completion the outlook has shifted.

If you build it they will come. That’s the thought behind the Supportive Services Village in Oildale.

Initially, this project was met with protest and concerns from the community, however, as we get closer to completion the outlook has shifted.

“We’re excited for it personally, aesthetically it looks so much better than what we had to look at," said Stephanie Yoder.

Yoder is talking about the 50-unit tiny homes project nearing completion on the corner of Roberts Lane and Hart Street.

Yoder is a longtime Oildale resident and business owner and she’s taken a personal interest in one of the communities largest concerns: homelessness.

“For those who have been hanging out in front of my store, when you offer the help or the resources they usually take them," she said.

According to the 2023 Point in Time County, out of the nearly 1,948 individuals experiencing homelessness in Kern, a majority of them are located in the Bakersfield Metro area, which includes Oildale, East Bakersfield, and Rosedale.

“I think people are coming to the idea that something needs to be done and how do we address this," said Dave Kadel, vice president of the Oildale Community Action Team.

To help address the issue, Yoder joined the board of the Oildale Community Action Team, staying up to date alongside Kadel. Both members have seen the progression of the tiny homes project this year as well as the change in perception of the project.

“Just with information they feel a lot better with what’s going to go on, that it’s not going to be a free-for-all that there’s a lot of regulation with the living situations there," Yoder said.

In October 2021, County supervisors approved an anti-encampment law and this year updated the ordinance to include "Special Enforcement Zones" beginning with one surrounding the tiny homes project. In these zones, camping with be illegal and removable following a formal notice of the area. The new resolution takes effect on February 10.

“You can’t just move people off of the river you can’t just push them into somewhere else unless you have somewhere for them to go," Kadel said. “A logical progression that we’re going to see more and more activities and the City, the County, the Mission, Flood Ministries, all the ministries that are out there.”

The 50-unit Supportive Services Village is set to be completed this year and will soon begin taking referrals. The village will be run by “Hope the Mission” — a California-based organization with a history of similar community projects.

Officials say despite concerns, the project will be heavily regulated and monitored.

“They’ve taken a lot of extra steps to make sure everyone is more confident in what’s going on there," Yoder said. "I know one of the measures too is that they were going to offer security to anyone leaving the senior center in the evenings to walk them to their car.”

Anyone interested in sharing their concerns about the tiny homes project has the chance to do so with County Chief Administrative Officer James Zervis and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer at the OCAT community meeting on January 29. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at North High School.


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