Chris Blakney presented Bakersfield with a long-awaited Affordable Housing Strategy this week. Residents of the city, which is in the midst of a housing crisis, “said they cannot find affordable housing, and the homes they can afford do not have amenities like air conditioning, usable plumbing and working door and light fixtures,” according to 23ABC Bakersfield.
Chris told the attendees of the meeting that “in the City of Bakersfield, over the last five years, rents are up by 43% and home prices are up by 72%.” In addition, 86% of the new housing being built is for moderate- or higher-income families, leaving lower-income families without options.
ECONorthwest’s Affordable Housing Strategy recognizes that affordable housing is difficult to build, and so Chris and the ECO team—along with the City of Bakersfield and other stakeholders—developed a two-part plan. As Chris explained, “the first [part of the strategy] was to create a toolkit so funding was allocated to develop programs and tools the city can use to unwind this issue of underproduction and make housing easier to build. The second piece was a strategy that guides decision making.”