Sagewood Apartments: Affordable Housing for Farmworkers in Kern County
BAKERSFIELD, CA – December 6, 2023 – The city of Bakersfield celebrated the grand opening of its latest affordable housing project, Sagewood Apartments. The development was created to assist in a crucial part of addressing the city's housing crisis: providing new affordable housing options.
The Sagewood Affordable Housing Project for Farmworkers is a complex of 72 units ranging from one to three bedrooms specifically for agriculture and farm workers. A community garden, a playground, a picnic area, and a basketball court are also included within the community. The project also includes several units, on the ground floor, with lower countertops in kitchens and handlebars in the bathrooms to be complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The $25.9 million project took three years to complete using several funding sources including the city of Bakersfield, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), State of California's Tax Credit Allocation committee, and Chelsea Investment Corp. In addition, the USDA will provide rental assistance tied to each unit due to Bakersfield's economy relying heavily on agriculture and being the largest employer of agricultural jobs in the area.
In attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Mayor Karen Got, Vice Mayor Andrea Gonzales, City Councilwoman Manpreet Kaur from Ward 7, and former City Councilman from Ward 7 Chris Parlier.
"Four of the top 15 major agricultural employers in Kern County are in Bakersfield," said Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh. "One of the most basic human needs is a place to call home, especially for our city's farmworkers. Our farmworkers are a big part of the fabric of our community, and they deserve affordable homes they can be proud of."
"What we're saying is housing is, indeed, a human right. Housing at all levels is a priority, and making sure that Bakersfield – what it's known for – is a place where a home is still affordable in the state of California," added City Councilwoman Kaur.
As the general managing partner of Sagewood Apartments, PSCDC helped build the property in tandem with Chelsea Investment Corp. With the development phase complete, PSCDC is shifting focus towards providing on-site community resources for the community. For adults, services such as job counseling, English as a Second Language classes, financial and computer literacy seminars, health and wellness workshops, and a food distribution program will be offered free of charge. Similarly, an afterschool program designed to aid school-aged children with homework and extra tutoring will be indeed.
"Our mission is not only to build much-needed affordable housing, but also to develop communities with the residents by providing services that promote economic and social development, that promote self-sufficiency," said Juan Arroyo, executive vice president of PSCDC, during the grand opening ceremony.
Furthermore, PSCDC will also look to connect with businesses and local community organizations in order to provide more resources and additional services.
Sagewood Apartments is a promising first step towards more affordable housing projects in Kern County. For more information or to apply for housing, you can visit the Sagewood Apartments website.