Housing authority providing financial assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

September 3, 2021 /

The Kern County Housing Authority is currently accepting applications for their Rent and Utility Assistance Program, a program that provides short-term assistance for rent and/or utility costs.

This program was authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package designed to speed up the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It prioritizes paying late rent or utility bills that could result in your eviction, but you don’t have to be behind on your rent or utility payments in order to apply.

Help with rent and utilities is available if you meet the following requirements:

  1. At least one member of your household qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  3. Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  4. Are a renter in the City of Bakersfield or Kern County, including unincorporated Kern County and all other municipalities within the county.

“The last thing we want to see is people losing their houses because of this pandemic,” said Heather Kimmel, Assistant Executive Director at the Kern County Housing Authority.

There are various methods of application, but Kimmel explained that the online application is the fastest way to proceed. The Housing Authority can also receive applications via email, mail, or by dropping them off in person. The Housing Authority website advises that applicants only submit one form of application, as duplicates can cause a delay in services.

Online applications can be completed here for Bakersfield residents and here for other Kern County residents. English versions of the application can be downloaded here and Spanish is here. Applications can also be picked up in person at 601 24th St, Bakersfield, CA, 93301.

Completed applications can be emailed to RUP@kernha.org or mailed to:

Attn: Rent and Utility Assistance Program
Housing Authority of the County of Kern
601 24th Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301

For more information or eligibility guidelines, visit rup.kernha.org or call 661-578-5339.

Victoria Rodgers

Victoria Rodgers is an editor and reporter for Kern Sol News. Born in Bakersfield, CA, she received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rockford University in Illinois. She can be reached at victoria@southkernsol.org.