HIT – Kern County is the king of wind power. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Kern’s 4,581 wind turbines are more than any other county in the nation. In addition, the USGS says Kern has the highest turbine density in the world.
Kern has a total wind power capacity of 4 gigawatts, with much of the energy transmitted out of Kern through the state’s power grid.
MISS – Kern County has seen an 85 percent reduction in low-income housing built just since 2016, according to a new report by the California Housing Partnership Corp. The report is based on data from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, U.S. Census Bureau and Housing and Urban Development.
According to the report, new construction of affordable housing units in Kern fell from 199 in 2016 to just 15 in 2017 and contributes to the state’s homeless crisis.
Stephen Pelz, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Kern, which provides local low-income housing through various programs, noted a major reason for the drop is the lack of state and federal funding, which left builders with little incentive to construct low-income housing. Building regulations also have added to the cost of construction and intensified California’s homeless crisis.
We agree with Pelz’s conclusion: “At some point, I think our state legislators need to start connecting the dots between regulations and cost. You’ve got to find a balance there.”