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.

Action Plan

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 $91,000.

Citizen Participation

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 households.

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 Needs

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.

Market Conditions

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 housing.

Homeless Needs

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 development fees.

Fair Housing

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.

Lead-Based Paint

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.

Other Issues

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:

Public service needs include:

Accessibility needs include:

Economic development needs include:


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:

Housing Priorities

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 disabilities.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

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.


Description of Key Projects

Bakersfield has planned 40 projects for Fiscal Year 1995, and these projects will be funded as follows:


Bakersfield intends to fund activities in areas most directly alleviating the needs of low-income residents and those with other special needs.

Lead Agencies

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 organizations.

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
Phone: 805-326-3764

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.