U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development
Consolidated Plan Contact
Bakersfield, California, designated an All American City in 1990 by the
National Civic League, has a population of more than 200,000. Located at the
southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, it is the largest urbanized community in
Kern County. The city covers approximately 100 square miles and is partially
surrounded by three mountain ranges. Bakersfield is the commercial and service
center of the county, playing an important economic role in the State with its
transportation, oil production, and agricultural enterprises.
For Fiscal Year 1996, Bakersfield expects to have more than $4 million in
funds for its Consolidated Plan. These funds come from three Federal entitlement
programs: a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $3.2 million, including
program income; HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funding of $1
million, including program income; and an Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) of
From September 1994 to February 1995, Bakersfield conducted extensive
citizen participation and planning initiatives that included three public
hearings, four neighborhood meetings, three focus-group workshops, and three
task-force meetings. A Consolidated Plan Task Force, composed of community
members, was organized to identify community needs, review surveys designed to
receive input from a broad cross section of citizens and service providers in
housing and community development, solicit citizen input, give advisory
recommendations for strategies, and review the draft of the Housing and
Community Development Strategic Plan. Many public comments about the
Consolidated Plan were incorporated in the final version. The city council
approved the Consolidated Plan on April 19, 1995.
According to the State's Department of Finance, Bakersfield's 1994
population of 201,800 was a 48 percent increase over the population in 1980.
Between 1980 and 1990, the household count grew from 39,602 to 62,467. In 1990
the population was 66 percent white, 20 percent Hispanic, 9 percent African
American, 4 percent Asian American, and 1 percent Native American. The majority
of the Hispanic population is concentrated in the area north of Stockdale
Highway and east of Union Avenue. There is a significant concentration of
African-American residents in census tracts 20 and 22.
The median family income (MFI) in Bakersfield is $31,714. Ten percent of the
city's households are extremely low-income (0-30 percent of MFI), 10 percent are
low-income (31-50 percent of MFI), 13 percent are moderate-income (51-80 percent
of MFI), and 7 percent are middle-income (81-95 percent of MFI) earners. Low-
and moderate-income households make up 61 percent of African-American
households, 48 percent of Hispanic households, 45 percent of Native-American
households, 27 percent of Asian-American households, and 27 percent of white
The 1990 unemployment rate in Bakersfield was 7 percent, compared with
almost 10 percent for Kern County. The largest employment industries are retail
trade and services, which employ more than half the labor force.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
Overall, 37 percent of Bakersfield's households experience some kind of
housing problems. More than half of all renters, 74 percent of large-family (5
or more persons) renters, and 68 percent of elderly renters have housing
problems. Approximately 84 percent of Bakersfield's very low-income households
were confronted with some form of housing problems in 1990, compared with 62
percent of low-income households and 41 percent of moderate-income households.
With plentiful land and an active residential development market,
Bakersfield offers some of the most affordable housing of any major metropolitan
area in the State. The National Association of Home Builders ranked Bakersfield
the most affordable city in California for housing. The average 1990 sale price
for a single-family home was $100,083. In 1990 rental prices varied by location:
a one-bedroom in the southwest ranged from $400 to $600, while in the northeast,
a one-bedroom could be obtained for $400 to $550.
The city's housing stock increased dramatically between 1980 and 1990, from
42,761 to 66,175 units. Single-family housing stock increased by 51 percent and
multifamily housing increased by approximately 55 percent during the past
decade. The number of mobile homes increased 148 percent, but they represent
only 2 percent of all housing units in the city. The vacancy rate for the city's
housing units is almost 6 percent. An estimated 11,268 substandard housing units
represent 17 percent of the housing stock.
Affordable Housing Needs
Most of the housing problems experienced by extremely low-income households
are associated with affordability. Approximately 4,302 (or 71 percent) of the
city's extremely low-income households spend more than half their gross incomes
on housing. Seventy-seven percent of low-income households spend more than 30
percent on housing, and 37 percent spend more than half their income on housing.
Fourteen percent of moderate-income households spend more than half their
gross income on housing, but 54 percent of moderate-income households experience
a cost burden for housing of more than 30 percent of their gross income. Renter
households, especially large-family renters and elderly households, demonstrate
a disproportionate need for housing assistance compared with owner households.
An estimated 5,576 ownership units were valued at prices affordable to low-
and moderate-income households. Only 113 of the ownership units were identified
as vacant. The supply of rental units affordable to extremely low- and
low-income households is limited, compared with the number of units affordable
to moderate-income households. Additionally, a larger portion of these
affordable units may be occupied by households not classified as low or moderate
income. A total of 226 housing units are deed restricted for low-income
households, but these units are at risk of being converted to market-rate
Four organizations -- Bakersfield Homeless Center, Clinica Sierra Vista,
Kern Linkage Program, and the county Department of Human Services -- served
8,099 individual homeless persons in 1990-91. In 1992-93 the number served
increased to 12,408. Emergency and transitional housing availability needs to be
increased to meet this growing problem. Support services to deal with social,
medical, and psychological problems are also needed for the homeless.
Public and Assisted Housing Needs
The Housing Authority of the County of Kern (HACK) owns and operates 4
public housing communities totaling 433 units in Bakersfield. The four
developments include two senior housing communities with eight units accessible
to persons with disabilities. All four developments have been rehabilitated and
are in good condition.
HACK is pursuing homeownership conversion programs. Although the sale of Oro
Vista community, which contains 184 units, has been approved, HACK will be
required to replace the low-income rental housing opportunities on a one-for-one
basis. The proposal is to replace the units with 92 new Section 8 certificates
and 92 units of new construction. Applications for public housing and Section 8
waiting lists exceeded 9,000 during a 1- week application period in 1993.
There are 1,480 assisted housing units, excluding public housing. Among
these, 772 are project-based tenant assistance units (143 of which are
single-room occupancies) and 708 tenant-based assistance units composed of
Section 8 certificates and vouchers. HACK administers the Section 8 rent subsidy
program for the city.
Barriers to Affordable Housing
Barriers to affordable housing can be found at all levels of government.
Zoning standards, such as minimum lot sizes, parking requirements, and yard
setbacks, may be impediments to affordable housing. It is possible that some of
these standards will be modified. The city allows manufactured housing on any
lot suitable for a conventional dwelling and permits the use of density bonuses
and "granny housing." However, no developer has ever used the density
bonus. Other factors that may increase the cost of housing include site plan
reviews, Davis Bacon Act wage-rate requirements, environmental reviews, and
Since August 1994 the city has administered its own Fair Housing Program
that provides education, a hotline service, mediation, and coordination.
Statistics kept by the Kern County Fair Housing Division indicate that between
1993 and 1994 the county received 2,900 calls from Bakersfield residents
requesting fair housing services.
In conjunction with Kern County, Bakersfield conducted a Fair Housing
Assessment, which was completed in November 1992. The report identified
impediments to fair housing, such as lack of knowledge of fair housing law,
limited lending activity in "impacted" census tracts, discriminatory
attitudes, and inadequate fair housing enforcement. To the extent applicable to
the city, all of the recommendations made in the study are being implemented by
the Fair Housing Program.
Even though lead was banned from residential paint in 1978, more than
three-fourths of pre-1978 homes in the city contain lead-based paint. As of
March 1993, 93 children have been diagnosed with elevated venous-blood-lead
levels. Forty-one of these children reside in central Bakersfield where
concentrations of low-income households and older housing stock exist.
Bakersfield recognizes the need to develop an action plan for evaluating and
reducing lead-based paint hazards. Integration of lead-hazard evaluation and
reduction activities into existing housing rehabilitation programs will be one
of the city's strategies. Bakersfield is participating in the Lead Coalition, a
lead-poisoning prevention program formed by the Kern County Health Department.
The coalition is concerned with increasing awareness of the danger and
prevention of lead poisoning, especially in children.
An estimated 1,890 elderly households are lower income households in need of
housing assistance. Approximately 17,300 city residents (10 percent of the
population) had work, mobility, and/or self-care limitations in 1990. More than
5,000 persons with severe mental illness, developmental disabilities, or
physical disabilities need supportive housing.
An estimated 1,700 persons in Bakersfield are HIV-positive; 578 of those
persons have AIDS. Between 570 and 850 persons with HIV/AIDS need supportive
housing. An estimated 25,000 to 28,000 men and 10,000 women may be alcohol
and/or drug addicted. Approximately 12,000 persons with alcohol or drug
addiction need supportive housing.
Community Development Needs
Public improvement needs include:
Public facility needs include:
- Areas newly annexed into the city frequently lack adequate roadway
facilities and need the service of the city's automated trash collection system.
- The economically depressed southeast/south central/Baker Street areas are
marked by deteriorated, substandard infrastructure, and trash removal is
identified by residents a priority.
- The installation of curbing and gutters is required for Lake Street and
portions of 14 other streets.
- Sewage Treatment Plant No. 2, which serves a majority of the city's low-
and moderate-income residents, is reaching capacity and will need upgrading or
- Provision for adequate drainage is a problem throughout the city because
of the flat nature of its topography.
Public service needs include:
- Both the Consolidated Plan Community Development Needs Survey and the Kern
County Social Service Needs Assessment identify a need for youth centers as a
top priority, particularly for at-risk youth.
- Affordable child-care centers, particularly for infant and toddler care,
- Although there are a number of health-care facilities in the city, the
affordability and accessibility of these facilities to lower income residents
- Additional community centers are needed to bring Bakersfield up to the
national standard, which is 1 center per 25,000 population. There is currently
only one city-owned community center.
Accessibility needs include:
- Even though the overall crime rate in the city declined slightly, violent
and property crime increased significantly between 1993 and 1994. The
Bakersfield Police Department identified the southeast and south-central
sections of the city as high-crime areas. Crime-awareness and prevention
programs are needed.
- Job training services are needed.
- Although a variety of community and public services are available,
accessibility and affordability are two critical issues, particularly for the
elderly and for persons with disabilities. Transportation services for these
persons have been identified by social service agencies and residents as
- To comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, a number of improvements are needed in public buildings, parks and
recreation facilities, and the convention center. Needed improvements include
lowered counters, accessible rest rooms and drinking fountains, appropriate
signs and ramps, and curb cuts.
Economic development needs include:
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in
Bakersfield was 13.8 percent in July 1994. The 1990 census identified 15 percent
of the city's population as living below the poverty level, and approximately 39
percent of female-headed families were determined to be living below the poverty
level. Respondents to the Community Development Needs Survey consider employment
training services (under public services) and job creation activities a
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
Vision for Change
Bakersfield's vision is to become a safer, more attractive, more
family-oriented community by unifying the city; enhancing economic prosperity;
and improving cultural, recreational, health, housing, and educational
opportunities for all city residents.
Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities
Bakersfield has chosen to develop its priorities for serving primarily
low-income families and individuals within the community:
- To provide decent housing -- by helping homeless persons obtain affordable
housing, maintaining the existing affordable housing stock, increasing the
availability (without discrimination) of permanent housing that is affordable to
low-income residents, and increasing supportive housing that enables persons
with special needs to live in dignity.
- To provide a suitable living environment -- by improving the safety and
livability of neighborhoods; increasing access to public facilities and
services; reducing the isolation of income groups within areas by
deconcentrating housing opportunities and revitalizing deteriorating
neighborhoods; restoring and preserving natural and physical features of special
value for historic, architectural, or aesthetic reasons; and conserving energy
- To expand economic opportunities -- by creating jobs for low-income
persons, providing access to credit for community development, and empowering
low-income persons to achieve self-sufficiency in federally assisted and public
Under the affordable housing category, the highest priorities are to assist
owners with the renovation of substandard dwellings and large-family renters to
alleviate substandard, overcrowded conditions.
In terms of the homeless, the highest priorities are assessment and
outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing
(housing with social and human services), and permanent housing.
Non-housing Community Development Priorities
Under the category of community development, the highest priorities are
crime awareness, economic development, infrastructure improvements, parks and
recreation/neighborhood facilities, employment training/marketing, youth
centers/services, fair housing, other public (general) services, and planning. A
high priority also is given to improving accessibility for persons with
To meet goals for reducing poverty, the city will work with agencies and
groups to develop a family oriented service delivery system; to coordinate
applicable policies, regulations, and data collection; to explore innovative
financing; to develop training and technical assistance for social service
providers; to convene and network; and to build coalitions.
Housing and Community Development Resources
Over the course of implementing the Consolidated Plan, Bakersfield will
focus its efforts on coordinating the use of public and private resources to
achieve the priorities outlined. The city will access resources from Federal,
State, and local sources, as well as from private institutions, foundations,
developers, and businesses.
Coordination of the Strategic Plan
Bakersfield's Economic and Community Development Department (ECDD) is the
lead agency responsible for overseeing the development of the Consolidated Plan.
The partnerships and collaborative efforts resulting from the planning process
will continue to be the focus for implementing the city's Consolidated Plan
during the next 5 years.
ONE-YEAR ACTION PLAN
Description of Key Projects
Bakersfield has planned 40 projects for Fiscal Year 1995, and these projects
will be funded as follows:
- $129,000 to construct street improvements to Lake Street to facilitate
traffic flow and drainage of the area.
- $386,000 to install sewer lines, laterals, and manholes.
- $218,000 to provide a facility for community policing that will promote
crime awareness and problem solving.
- $205,950 to design and construct the Bakersfield Business Port Incubator.
- $173,076 to design and rehabilitate a neighborhood services facility to
include a senior center, youth-service center, adult classrooms, and counseling
- $55,000 to provide a low-interest loan for the acquisition of the McCree
Adult Residential Facility housing six adults with developmental disabilities.
- $60,000 to support the Bakersfield Homeless Center Medical Program.
- $50,000 in grants of $2,000 each to construct access for persons with
physical disabilities in privately or publicly owned structures.
- $105,000 to provide housing development loans for costs associated with
the construction of affordable housing.
- $250,625 to provide downpayment and closing-cost assistance for low- and
moderate-income families that are first-time homebuyers.
- $304,525 in home loans to rehabilitate single-family dwellings for low-
and moderate-income families.
Bakersfield intends to fund activities in areas most directly alleviating
the needs of low-income residents and those with other special needs.
The Economic and Community Development Department (ECDD) will implement and
coordinate activities to address the Consolidated Plan priorities. ECDD
administers Federal entitlement funds received from CDBG, HOME, and ESG
programs. In addition, ECDD provides staff support for administering tax
increment set-asides for low-income housing within redevelopment areas.
The delivery and financing of affordable housing and community economic
development programs involve organizations and participants from public
agencies; businesses and private institutions; and nonprofit and community
The Central District Development Agency is Bakersfield's redevelopment
agency for administering tax increment funds for the downtown business district.
Kern County administers General Assistance, Aid to Families with Dependent
Children, and Great Avenues for Independence programs; public and mental health
services; and employment training programs. The State of California, through its
Department of Housing and Community Development and California Housing Finance,
administers loans, grants, and tax-exempt bond financing for affordable housing
in various programs.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).
To comment on Bakersfield's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Vince Zaragoza or George Gonzales
Economic and Community Development
City of Bakersfield
515 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Return to California's Consolidated Plans.