Bakersfield searching for properties to build affordable housing

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California Construction News staff writer

Bakersfield city council has approved a plan to buy the Ramkabir Motel on Union Avenue for $1.4 million, with plans to convert the 37-unit site into affordable housing.

Renovations are expected to begin by late summer.

“There is issue after issue that compounds one another,” Gonzales said of Union Avenue. “But these motels are vanishing, Gonzales said, leaving even more people to fend for themselves on the streets.”

The decision came as city and county officials released a new census last week that found homelessness in Kern has risen 37 percent since their last poll a year ago. Nearly half, officials found, live in Bakersfield city limits.

With the continued rise in the number of homeless people, officials are searching for prospective sites for more affordable housing. Renovations of existing sites like motels, Gonzales said, are a “win-win-win” because it’s often significantly cheaper to update existing living spaces than it is to build anew.”

“The community can debate whether we need more enforcement or closing down encampments or we need more outreach or supportive services,” Gonzales said. “But at the end of the day it all comes down to one thing: housing.”Subtitles

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