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Shortfall of Affordable Homes Increases Burden on Low-Income Families in Kern County

Key Findings

  • A renter household needs to earn more than the state minimum wage in order to afford average asking rents in Kern County.
  • Inflation-adjusted median rents in Kern County increased 23% from 2000 to 2013, while inflation-adjusted median renter household income increased by only 2%.
  • Kern County needs 29,915 additional affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its extremely low-income (ELI) and very low income (VLI) renters.
  • The majority of Kern County’s very low-income renters spend more than 50% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs.
  • Overcrowding for low-income renters in Kern County is 134% higher than the national average, contributing significantly to poor health and academic achievement among low-income children.
  • Reductions in federal and state funds and elimination of redevelopment have reduced Kern County’s affordable housing funding by over $33.5 million since 2008, a 69% reduction.