Jeanne Radsick 2020

Bakersfield real estate agent Jeanne Radsick is president of the California Association of Realtors.

A new report advocating rent cancellation and other government-led housing measures in the Central Valley warns that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could result in evictions for 20,000 households across Kern County.

The report by a group called Faith in the Valley cautions that a "wave of evictions" looms once local courts allow unlawful-detainer cases to proceed. It proposes new housing protections for people suffering financially because of the crisis, including a rent and mortgage relief program and longer-term reforms such as expanded legal representation for tenants.

Public and private housing officials in Kern rejected the report's calls for broad reform. They agreed more housing is needed and the government has a role in helping prevent evictions but said tenants falling behind on rent are better off working out a deal directly with their landlords.

NEAR-TERM RELIEF

The report's release has come as Bakersfield's City Council prepares to vote Wednesday on a proposal to spend $5 million in federal recovery money on temporary subsidies intended to help renters in the city stay current on their leases.

Also, on Monday the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced two awards totaling $762,677 for housing vouchers to be administered by Kern County's Housing Authority. The federal money was part of $472 million set aside for housing vouchers nationwide.

Evictions have become a contentious political topic during the pandemic as local, state and federal governments weigh options for averting greater homelessness amid unprecedented joblessness. While evictions have remained on hold in California since March, sticking points on longer-term solutions include taxpayer costs and how much of the financial burden should be placed on landlords.

Faith in the Valley, which describes itself as a faith-based community organization with offices in five Central Valley counties including Kern, called for enactment of a fully funded emergency rent and mortgage relief program. It also urged passage of state legislation that would give families hurt by the crisis up to 12 months to pay off back rent with no harm to their credit ratings.

WAITING LISTS

The report says more than 40 percent of Kern residents and 42 percent of people living in Bakersfield are renters. Many pay a disproportionate share of their income toward housing, it said, adding that the county's waiting list for Section 8 low-income housing topped 7,000 in January and that an additional 17,822 people are in line for public housing for the poor.

Besides increasing the area's inventory of subsidized housing, it said, local government should do more to ensure tenants have access to legal resources and address apparent housing segregation patterns.

"Without swift and decisive action," the report states, "this pandemic risks entrenching and compounding the housing crisis in the Central Valley and deepening existing inequities in housing opportunity, possibly for years to come, while also further exacerbating the pandemic itself."

Stephen Pelz, executive director of Kern's Housing Authority, disputed the report's estimate that as many as 20,000 households in the county may face eviction. But he said it's true there are thousands of households in the county struggling to pay rent because of an affordable housing shortage.

MAKE A DEAL

As enhanced unemployment benefits and other government assistance gradually runs out, Pelz said, households at risk of eviction should reach out to negotiate with their landlords.

"Most landlords want to work with you and avoid an eviction," he said by email.

Bakersfield real estate agent Jeanne Radsick, president of the California Association of Realtors, said deferring rent is impractical because tenants won't be in a better position later to make up overdue rent.

Building more single- and multifamily housing would help, she said, but a lasting moratorium on evictions could backfire.

"Why would anyone want to build rental housing and not be able to charge fair market rents?" she asked in an email.

LANDLORD ASSISTANCE

The president of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, Ronda Newport, noted that California's evictions moratorium has not been accompanied by comparable assistance to landlords who must continue paying their mortgages.

The most appropriate government action, she said, is to put emergency federal money toward rental assistance, not intervene on behalf of tenants whose best option is to work with their landlords.

A spokesman for the city of Bakersfield said the $5 million proposal going before council members Wednesday would have city officials working closely with the county Housing Authority.

Spokesman Joseph Conroy asserted the measure would help both parties in leasing arrangements.

"A rent subsidy approach such as this will have the dual benefit of preventing renters from being further impacted by back-logged rent and allowing property owners to receive payments needed to maintain ownership of their property," he wrote in an email Monday.

Follow John Cox on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf

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(40) comments

Masked 2020

Chlorinator....well now it’s time for the Pendulum to swing FarLeft...... the yin and yang....the Vote Blue in 2020 is the Bright side .........your with NakedDon.. The TwilightZoneRight....the dark, Divisive Vision of America one........so that makes you one of his deplorables.....but I guess the the ZipperBoy Falwell sez even NakedDon was redeemed so I guess...well I don't know what that means.......PEACE...

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Yorkies: I LOVE to see that I live rent free in your little mind.

Not even going to respond any more than that, because to do so, would only help to validate the pablum puke you espoused for what reason? Only you and your LSD-affected brain will ever know...

Masked 2020

that's rhetorical ... don't send the secret service to the barrio and have me detained........its just that Harris has Island roots...and I was thinking of the New Year inaugural ball and NakedDon really should have to endure a life he has put the other side through for the last four......at least a couple of full frontals in a dog kennel to put on the cover of Time Magazine

RubySue

When I was a kid, we used to play a game called Twister. I see the left has adopted it as their policy for reporting. You are aware, I'm sure, that that was a policy Barak Obama put in place, but putting the blame on President Trump is typical gaming for the left.

She Dee

When I was a kid, we used real potatoes for our Mr. Potato Head. We also had Lincoln Logs...then Lego's showed up and all those tiny parts required a lot of time to pick up. It was easy to make my parents mad by tossing a few in the keep shag carpeting. I loved hearing them scream when they stepped on one of the as they went to get a cold beer out of the fridge. They were Republicans. They didn't do much for the country, other than carry on their stupidity and racist ways. I don't hate them for it,but I certainly won't be following in their footsteps.

She Dee

I meant to say Deep Shag Carpeting, instead of keep shag...oops!

Masked 2020

Biden Harris 2020.... so cool....and Rihanna can do Man Down at the inauguration...cant wait.....Lock him Up

RubySue

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/durham-probe-ex-fbi-lawyer-to-plead-guilty-in-first-criminal-case-arising-from-review-attorney-says

a158701

Those who will be evicted and have a little money left can then flee California to states eastward with much lower taxes and cost of living. Those people may be able to salvage their lives elsewhere and can pay for a place to quarantine for 15-20 days to be Covid-19 free. Those who are poor will be unable to save their lives and homeless getting the virus and spreading it statewide while living in homeless camps anywhere statewide.

She Dee

Seems to me that the only SENSIBLE thing to do would be to forgive the debt of the tenants who are behind on their rent and start anew. If the tenants cannot pay the back rent when the eviction freeze is over, I doubt the landlord/owner will ever be able to collect in a timely manner. If the tenants have a job, their wages might be able to be garnished, but then the risk of having them wreck the rental is high. So, maybe landlords will have to have a heart and give their renters a chance to start over again. It's a crapshoot, but it's possible to just take a tax write-off for the loss of revenue. Otherwise, the owner has to heap the evictions cost onto their own heads...knowing the back rent will most likely never be paid. Might just be better to give the current renters the benefit of the doubt and go on to get something instead of nothing. Eviction should only come if and when the next month's rent goes unpaid.

peneumbra

Ms.Radsick has an AMAZING smile. She could easily do dental commercials if the real estate thing doesn't work out...

Ledzepplin4800

Trumps plan to help the realistate business , that’s his business , all planned out ? Divide ? Yes we’re going to divide him from the WH

Zeppo

I dislike that Joker-esque face at the top of the page. It seems to be a mocking one.

JR

I thought that was strange and inappropriate too. It made me think I had clicked on an ad, not the article. Maybe it's an extra plug and advertorial for her real estate business.

Unionpacific

Create the crisis by shutting down the economy and destroying the jobs that paid the rents then have no real long term solutions except to live in poverty

Zeppo

I just read on Armstrong Economics that Fauci and Gates speak daily about this and they both naysay the usage of hydroxychloroquine and instead want to vaccinate everyone! People should be able to return to work as long as they wear masks. This is immoral, what is being asked of all of us. Guess who benefits the most from the vaccines..........Gates.

Moardeeb

Covid shut down the economy. People won't go out if they risk being on a ventilator. Blame the virus. Wake up.

Masked 2020

that makes sense ......the Dems wanted people to not be able to Vote because they were homeless....sounds more like one of PanDemonicDon's grand ideas

Lamonster

And how is voting by mail going to help those without a home address to receive a ballot in the mail? Oh wait, that's what ballot harvesters are for, right? Of course there is no harvest without a planting so we'll just carry a stack of ballots and pass them out with sandwiches in the park and collect them after lunch. What could go wrong?

Moardeeb

You think there are that many registered voters without a home address? No. Ballot harvesters? You know signature on mail in ballots are verified right? If the signature doesn't match its tossed. Mail in is the safest way of all. If you believe the Republicans, your an ultra maroon. Republicans ALWAYS traditionally try to suppress the vote. They can't win in a fair fight.

We will be 100% mail in someday.

Lamonster

Did you read the number 20,000 in the headline? Do you think harvesters only go around picking up ballots that have already been signed and sealed and don't "help" the poor voter who can't find his way to the mail box figure out how to mark the ballot? Ballots should receive the same custodial care as the custody chain for evidence connected to a crime. No middlemen should get between the voter-poll worker-tabulator. And if you don't get it that the democrats who passed that law had every intention of stuffing the box then bless your heart.

whittierblvd

democrats you own all of this ...

JR

The ownership here belongs to Trump and his pathetic supporters and gang of crooks, he calls his cabinet.

Moardeeb

We will after this election. House, Senate, White House. You did thos Republ8cans by voting for a buffoonish Cult leader. Reap what you sow.

Veritas

California has incompetent leadership. Start at the top. www.RecallGavin2020.com

The Independent Voter

The dire headline accompanied by that broad smile of the realtor featured in the story. Seriously, Californian?

Moardeeb

Our imbecilic President signed a bogus and ineffective "executive order" which say " don't evict people unless you want to!" Lolololol. This President needs his big orange as* carved into the Washington Monument to remind us forever to NEVER elect another unqualified 5th grader to office. Dump this moronic cult leader in November. Enough!

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Dweeb: Yes, continue to assign blame to Trump, all the while excusing your "Guv".

Sounds like YOU are the "unqualified 5th grader"...

Boris25

Come on man, Dweeb spent three years in the 5th grade, he has that down pat. For someone who lives in an apartment ( I'm sure a luxurious one) doesn't pay any property taxes, most likely receives his welfare check, food stamps and free medical care on the backs of tax payers he sure complains a lot about those who provide his lifestyle.

Steelerman

@Boris25 I admire your Trump-like dedication to spewing patently false and often, jaw-droppingly stupid statements and relying on ad hominem attacks. I also suggest you stop putting people down for their level of intelligence. You are embarrassing yourself although you are oblivious to it. Denial is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Steelerman

@GPC I see you are still relying on ad hominem attacks defending Trump although you will disingenuously claim otherwise. Come GPC, I'm eagerly awaiting your "witty" response. LOL

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Moronman: I've replied MANY times to your ad hominem attacks against me, with no response- largely because I'm sure you didn't have one.

Takes a lot of guts to come here once every couple of months, throw a grenade, then crawl back into your hole.

I (as I've said MANY times, am not here to defend POTUS- only to show the hypocrisy of Dweeb (and others- apparently yourself as well) who continue to ignore truth and fact. The fact that you support the most hyperpartisan on this site, shows you to be just as much of a fool as he is.

I really don't know why I even waste my time with you; I grow weary of correcting you like a father does a misbehaving child.

Go troll someone else- you aren't worth my time any longer... LOL

Boris25

Just point out where I am wrong (using actual facts) and I will retract statements. If Dweeb lives in an apartment he doesn't pay property taxes, now i may have exaggerated the number of years he spent in fifth grade, but please point out any "ad hominem attacks defending Trump" or where i am factually wrong about the amount of money spent on illegal aliens.

Veritas

Appears you have a fan GPC? They are keeping book on you, bringing up something you wrote back in April.... Also, I did not know you were in tight with TBC media? So you’re the one responsible for my comments getting deleted. Shame on you! LOL

Zeppo

Dweeb has a mental illness and should be ignored.

Steelerman

@GPC It's nice to see you are, if nothing else, predictable. Please enlighten me to when I have ever call you a childish name or misrepresented your views. On April 21, you described yourself as a "centered" voter, then had the Trump-like audacity to angrily deny it and attack me for you your own words against you.. You might want to reread your own words once in a while before you have another spastic fit. There are psych meds for that, you know.

As for my scarcity of comments, at least 50% of them are deleted by your ilk who obviously believe in censorship.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Steelerman: No- you incorrectly described me saying I was a "centrist" voter, which I never claimed and explained that fact to you in a follow-up- which you never responded to. I said I was more centered than Dweeb and Yuckies because I have voted for candidates on both sides of the aisle in my life. Despite what you may believe, I'm not beholden to any party, as there is plenty of blame to go around for each. Your two brethren-in-arms proudly claim they've never voted for a Republican and "Vote Blue down the ticket" constantly. I guess you believe that political philosophy is what the country needs? Extreme political tribalism is killing our country right now and it's been coming to a head for years. You can argue Trump is a catalyst, but we would've been at this point eventually- no matter who was POTUS.

On the subject of posts, all you really every do is throw bombs- you never offer anything substantive to any story you post on, which says to me that you are suffering from some kind of toxic personality disorder, of which I should actually take pity on your soul...

"As for my scarcity of comments, at least 50% of them are deleted by your ilk who obviously believe in censorship".

Brilliant statement- you really think "my ilk" are moderators on this board? If it makes you feel any better, I've had a large number of posts deleted as well- even though they did not violate any of the rules posted here.

Like I said earlier, I'm really weary of your sanctimonious posts. I know you think you're smarter than anyone else that posts here, so we should all take a knee and honor your omnipotence. In all honesty, I would enjoy reading a post from you that was actually constructive and offered some solutions for issues, rather than remaining intent on tearing another poster down. C'mon man, help us all out- who knows, maybe we'll all be just a little more enlightened from it.

I'll just take the high road and wish you and your family good health during this time and God Bless...

P.S. Notice I didn't call you a name this time... :)

*out*

oopsthereitis

Sit tight, the men in the white coats are on the way.

peneumbra

'member that song, "They're Coming To Take Me Away?"

JR

Well said. Not eloquently said, but well said.

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