Bakersfield, California — Ward 2 City Councilman for the city of Bakersfield, Andrae Gonzales, stated that the city has constructed, is constructing, or will work on more than 966 affordable housing units at this time.
As of the end of April, the city of Bakersfield had 166 new affordable housing units finished, 282 units under building, and 518 units still in the planning stage.
On top of that, the city council decided Wednesday night to use $418,000 from Measure N, which is a 1% sales tax, to turn the Kerntown Motel in Old Town Kern into a complex of affordable housing.
“We see this property as a priority for continuing to reinvest in Old Town Kern,” said Jason Carter, the City of Bakersfield’s Economic and Community Development Manager. “With this structure and the funding model we’re looking at, we see this property as one that fits with that vision and that investment.”
Gonzales said that the cost of living keeps going up.
“The problem is that we still have a lot of people who need affordable housing,” said Andrae Gonzales, Vice Mayor of the City of Bakersfield. “This affects people who are homeless, families who live together, and people of different generations who live in the same house.”
He hopes it will have at least 28 rooms, which is how many rooms the motel has now.
Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation has decided to do the work needed to prepare the affordable housing unit for construction.
Gonzales said, “We’re trying to find developers who are willing to come to Bakersfield and our area and build more housing.” “That is one of the problems that has slowed things down for us.”
Eyewitness News talked to small business owners in the area, and they said they didn’t even know the city was thinking about this because the city didn’t talk to them about it.
They say that security is already a problem in the area, to the point where they have to pay for protection every week. They said that they thought the money from the 1% sales tax on Measure N would be used to pay for protection.