Local organizations launch COVID-19 rent and mortgage assistance programs

One-time financial assistance available for individuals who have lost income or incurred medical bills due to COVID-19

CONTACT: Anna Laven, Ed.D., BKRHC Executive Director, 310-592-8557, anna.laven@bkrhc.org

BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) and its members, the Housing Authority of the County of Kern (HA), Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) and Bakersfield Homeless Center (BHC), today launched local programs to provide rent and mortgage payment assistance to area residents affected by COVID-19.

Grants from the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern will fund these programs with the goal of preventing homelessness among families and individuals who have either lost income or incurred medical bills greater than $1,000 due to COVID-19. Referrals, including self-referrals, to all programs can be made by calling 2-1-1.

“COVID-19 has upended the lives of many Kern County families and put many of our neighbors at risk of losing their homes,” said Stephen Pelz, Executive Director of HA and chair of the BKRHC Executive Board. “Thanks to the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern, our COVID-19 Rent and Mortgage Payment Assistance Programs will help ease some of the instability these households are experiencing, so they can focus on staying safe and healthy.”

Individuals must reside in any city or unincorporated area within Kern County to be eligible for the program. Applicants must pay 30% or more of their income towards housing and may have a household income of up to 80-percent of the Area Median Income. For a family of four, that amount is $55,900. Applicants must have lost income since March 2020 or incurred medical bills greater than $1,000, resulting in their inability to afford their full rent or mortgage payment. Lastly, individuals must have a rental contract or mortgage in their name to be eligible for the program.

Those who meet the program eligibility requirements will receive one-time assistance of up to $5,000 for rent or mortgage payments due between March and December 2020. Assistance is paid directly to the recipient’s landlord or mortgage company.

Grant funding is limited, and assistance will be awarded to eligible recipients on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply for assistance or request more information, individuals should call 2-1-1.

An informational flyer is available for download.

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ABOUT THE BAKERSFIELD-KERN REGIONAL HOMELESS COLLABORATIVE

The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) is an independent nonprofit organization composed of individuals, organizations and public agencies dedicated to address homelessness in our community. Through collaborative planning and action, BKRHC works to reduce the impacts of homelessness and build a future where every person in Kern County has a permanent place to call home.

ABOUT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF KERN

The Housing Authority is an independent, local government agency providing safe, affordable housing to thousands of Kern County residents through special programs serving families, individuals, senior citizens, Veterans, the disabled, homeless persons, farm workers and emancipated foster youth. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income residents of Kern County by providing safe, affordable housing and assisting residents towards self-sufficiency and home ownership.  In addition to meeting the housing needs of nearly 20,000 low income Kern County residents, the Housing Authority partners with other local agencies to help residents become self-sufficient.  The Authority is an active developer of affordable housing, acquiring and building housing to help meet the affordable housing needs in Kern County.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP OF KERN

Community Action Partnership of Kern is the official anti-poverty agency in Kern County, providing more than 15 programs which meet people at their point of need with energy assistance, early childhood education, food, shelter and the tools of success. CAPK’s mission is to “provide and advocate for resources that will empower members of the communities we serve to be self-sufficient.” CAPK knows that, working together, the communities we serve can become better places for everyone who lives there.

ABOUT THE BAKERSFIELD HOMELESS CENTER

The Bakersfield Homeless Center (BHC) is the only emergency shelter for women, children, and families in Kern County.  And, BHC is more than just a shelter.  BHC provides expert guidance and compassionate care to alleviate crisis needs, reestablish stability, and restore independence for our most vulnerable neighbors through workforce experience, housing assistance, an on-site state licensed childcare facility, and a community resource center.  Every day, the BHC team of experts works with families and individuals with nowhere else to turn and they unlock the tools and resources they need to begin again.

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