Study: Bakersfield residents must work 1.6 jobs

Posted at 2:08 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 17:08:42-04

A study says in order to afford an average two-bedroom apartment in Bakersfield, minimum wage workers must work 1.6 full time jobs, 52 weeks a year.

The report titled "Out of Reach 2016" was a partnership between the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing California and the California Housing Consortium.

The typical renter in Bakersfield earns $12.91 an hour, which is $2.97 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest 2-bedroom in town. The Bakersfield housing wage for 2016 is $15.88.

"As families struggle to keep up with soaring rents, our state has gone in the wrong direction – reducing investment in building homes families can afford by 79% since 2008 and turning away billions in federal funds,” said Ray Pearl, Executive Director of the California Housing Consortium. 

Working at the minimum wage of $10/hour in California, a family must have 1.6 wage earners working full-time, 52 weeks a year, or one full-time earner working 64 hours/week, 52 weeks a year, to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Bakersfield.

"From 2000 to 2013, while rents in Kern County have skyrocketed 23%, renter household income has grown only 2%," said Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California. "Things can't continue this way. People are not just falling into poverty, California's out-of-control rents are keeping them trapped there. It's time for Governor Brown and the state Legislature to make bold investments in affordable development. It is undeniably a key part of the solution to California's housing crisis."

To see the full study, click here.