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Bakersfield invests millions to build more affordable housing units

Working to develop 72 affordable housing units.
Housing
Posted at 10:31 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 05:04:17-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The housing crisis is ongoing here in our community. That’s why the city is investing millions of dollars to build more affordable housing units.

On the corner of Stine and Berkshire Roads is where the city is working to develop 72 affordable housing units.

“To really make sure that we’re addressing all of the housing needs, in particular, the affordable housing needs of the residents of the community,” said Paul Saldana, Director of Economic and Community Development, City of Bakersfield.

That’s why the City Council approved an allocation of $2 million in total, $1.5 million in public safety and vital services, and $1 million in home investment partnership funds for the Sagewood Apartments Project, with Stine & Berkshire CIC Limited Partnership in south Bakersfield.

Saldana said developing affordable housing has been a priority for the city.

“The state requires cities and counties to meet a certain development threshold as far as providing housing at all levels. Certainly, in Bakersfield, there’s a need across the income spectrum and affordable housing receives this kind of funding.”

What exactly is affordable housing? Heather Kimmel with the Housing Authority of Kern said affordable housing means ideally, around 30% of a household income goes to paying for a place to live.

“When they get over that 40% mark, they’re considered overly rent burdened and it can have a lot of negative impacts on the household and families as a whole.”

This project is specifically trying to help farmworker households and those working in agriculture roles. Kimmel said this part of the population has barriers to making housing affordable.

“So, we see larger family sizes, with lower wage earners. We need to make sure that those that are bringing food to all of our homes, are well taken care of.”

This project is expected to have 18 one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units, and 18 three-bedroom units on the property.

There will also be outdoor amenities and common areas for residents. It’s estimated to cost around $26 million in total, from various loan funding sources. Saldana said partnerships to develop projects like this help foster growth in the city.

Construction is expected to start in the next couple of months with occupancy by the end of 2023.