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Bakersfield Establishes Eviction Protection Program

In the wake of the state rent-relief program and eviction moratorium drawing to a close, the Californian rental landscape has transformed into a challenging post-pandemic reality, casting a shadow on the lives of tenants grappling with a noticeable surge in eviction cases.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by county court filings, which indicate a concerning uptick in eviction cases, reaching a total of 1,259 in Kern County as of October—with no signs of abatement. It’s against this backdrop that Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzales took a stand, revealing the city’s decision to inaugurate its maiden eviction protection program.

To address this pressing issue, the program will be endowed with $350,000 sourced from the city’s Measure N tax, originally designated for public safety and essential services. This financial injection aims to provide a crucial safety net for tenants navigating the precarious aftermath of the pandemic. Sandra Placencia, a representative from the Leadership Counsel, a tenant advocacy group, emphasized the significance of this move, highlighting the vital role it plays in safeguarding the rights and well-being of renters in these challenging times.