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Casa Esperanza plans to move forward with homeless housing project, despite rejection from the city

Casa Esperanza Housing Project
Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:17:13-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Non-profit Casa Esperanza said it plans to continue its efforts to buy and refurbish a transitional home for homeless women and children, despite the recent appeal approved by the Bakersfield City Council.

The project was originally approved back in November 2020 by the City Planning Commission board. The non-profit sought a conditional permit to allow six families and 24/7 staff resident on site at 1421 Panorama Drive.

During the City Council meeting on Jan. 20, the board voted 6-0 to halt the project after neighbors filed an appeal. Councilman Andrae Gonzales abstained because of a conflict of interest.

Covering Kern County

Permit approved for transitional housing off of Panorama Dr.

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When the project was initially passed, several residents expressed their concern for the neighborhood. Given time to appeal the project, residents stated they remained concerned the housing project would become overcrowded.

A Planning Department report stated the building chosen could house up to 20 residents and Casa Esperanza would have housed six women and their children at one time.

Now the non-profit is looking for a new location. They said the ideal location will house four to six families in a safe, family environment.

“Although we are disappointed by the unfortunate decision of the Bakersfield City Council, we are completely committed to our mission to serve Bakersfield by creating a place for women who have experienced homelessness,” said Julie Cesare, chair of Casa Esperanza. “We have so much community support for this project, we are confident we’ll find a wonderful location for this home.”

Casa Esperanza board members are currently seeking a home location. If any community member knows of a property that might serve as an appropriate location, please contact Julie Cesare at (661) 203-6022 or Julie.Cesare@EsperanzaBakersfield.org.