BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In May the California Housing Partnership stated that Kern County is in a housing crisis for low-income renters and would need 26,000 units to meet the housing demand.
Over 300 landlords attended last week's housing summit which highlighted the many local service providers in helping finding ways to end homelessness in Kern County.
One solution the summit provided is to ask landlords and property managers to pledge units for homeless individuals. As result, already 86 units were offered up.
Ted Iturriria, of Central Cal Management, is one of the companies who attended the California Housing Summit and is offering a unit for a family in need.
“You know we should treat them like everybody else, these people are human beings and they have fallen on hard times and we all at some point have fallen on hard times,” Iturriria said.
Iturriria says he was moved to take action in the fight to end homelessness in Kern County by attending the summit and learning about the many programs.
“At the summit, there were three individuals that spoke that were homeless and talked about their experience,” Iturriria said. "It brought a tear to my eye and made me want to learn about the programs available and communicate with our property owners and try to make a difference.”
Iturriria says his company is currently in the process of working with the Bakersfield homeless center who gets funding to help assist these homeless individuals.
“We obviously want to do the right thing and get people off be streets if we can,” Iturriria said. “What’s important to us is that we are aware of those programs available to us and to our property owners.”
The Housing Authority also told 23ABC that in order to combat the housing crisis and homeless concerns it's going to take more than just county and city officials help, but the private sectors, community assistance, and the many service providers.
For more information on housing and how you as a landlord can offer a unit to a homeless individual head to this link.