BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern Housing Authority is celebrating the grand opening of a new senior housing development built to serve residents 62 years of age or greater. With the cost of living rising, the new lofts on 22nd Street will provide 19 units for low-income seniors.
“This is a place like a garden that will flourish together because we are investing in our seniors,” said Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “This is going to be a place that will grow, in which they can be happy.”
The project to build the new senior lofts began in 2019 but completion was delayed due to the pandemic. Stephen Pelz, Executive Director for the Housing Authority says that the project was also delayed by financial struggles.
“Most affordable housing developments are very challenging just because of the nature of the funding,” said Pelz. “You have to put together typically four, five, six different fundings to make it happen.”
Mayor Goh says the project was able to be completed thanks to help from a variety of organizations.
“Our community comes together and that’s what we do as Bakersfield,” said Goh. “We come together to care for our own, and this would not be here if it weren’t for so many different groups.”
The three story development is topped with solar panels to help lower the tenants’ electricity costs. Each unit comes with a refrigerator, microwave, stove, and dishwasher. The development will also have supportive services available for tenants.