Bakersfield, California 2021-07-16 18:25:00 –
A new trust fund established by the Bakersfield City Council seeks to promote affordable home construction in the city when both rent and home prices are rising.
On Wednesday, the council voted 6-0 to allocate $ 5 million in public security and vital services major N funding to an affordable housing trust fund. The money will be used to prevent homelessness and encourage investment in areas that have been lagging behind until recently.
“It helps. Every unit is important,” said Bakersfield Economic Development Principal Runner Ceceria Griego. “Investments in affordable housing from states and cities have increased significantly, which has really helped. People are finally reacting and recognizing the need.”
When Governor Jerry Brown stopped funding local redevelopment agencies in 2011, investment in affordable housing plummeted across the state. However, recent allocations from the state and the passage of Major N in Bakersfield have allowed new low-income housing to recover.
The city considers the $ 5 million fund to be just the first step in a larger plan aimed at addressing rising costs and production delays. Griego estimates that it will be able to fund eight low rent projects annually through the new allocation. This is twice as many as the four projects funded in the last few years.
Low-income units often require public funding, as developers claim that the high cost of state regulation discourages private sector development of real estate. ..
“Without substantial government support and subsidies, low-income earners cannot afford single-family homes and apartments at a cost that they can afford to rent based on construction costs,” said executive officer Dave Domohauskey. Says. With the Association of Homebuilders in Kern County.
Still, $ 5 million can have a huge impact if used selectively, he says, “nothing to eavesdrop on.”
“The higher the production, the more housing units in the community will act as a buffer for unusual price increases,” he added.
The city also applies for state matches that could double the impact of funding. In addition to new construction, it can also be used to rehabilitate existing sites or convert the hotel to a permanent residence. The attached dwelling unit can also raise funds through a trust.
While some community supporters supported funding, they were concerned about the lack of details contained in the proposal. Leadership counsel and justice and accountability praised the city’s actions on Twitter, warning that funding must be able to address “the vast and diverse housing needs.”
“I think it can start a conversation, and it’s a good step forward, but when we think of the investment the city makes in other resources compared to the $ 5 million we go to housing, it’s a very low investment. “Emma De said La Rosa, a policy advocate for the organization.
In a letter to the city, the leadership counsel called for a public oversight committee to fund, and the organizers told the city to keep new low-income housing away from poor areas and pollution. Prompted.
You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.
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