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New Report

Evicted in Kern: Facts for Housing Advocates

Every year, renters in Kern County pay more than a billion dollars to landlords (or their agents) to secure their homes. Meanwhile, the area is suffering from an affordable housing crisis, with 40% of renter households in Bakersfield paying unaffordable rents and homeownership increasingly out of reach for low- and moderate-income residents. On top of that, thousands of families in Kern County are evicted from their homes every year. The COVID-19 pandemic only made things worse. The purpose of this report is to highlight the patterns and impacts of evictions, which contribute to the larger housing insecurity crisis in Kern, and urge city, county, and state officials to act immediately to protect vulnerable tenants.

42K

Over the ten-year period 2007-2016, there were 42,663 eviction lawsuits filed in Kern County.

20K

We estimate that at least 20,000 Kern households are in danger of facing eviction due to COVID-19.

0.5

Our COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard gives Kern County a score of 0.5 out of 5, reflecting the fact that Kern County has done close to nothing to prevent evictions.

The bottom line: Our research reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate an already existing housing crisis if elected leaders do not take bold and unprecedented action immediately. Without swift and decisive action, 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.

In this report, we address the following questions about eviction trends and patterns in Kern County:

The bottom line: Our research reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate an already existing housing crisis if elected leaders do not take bold and unprecedented action immediately. Without swift and decisive action, 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.

In this report, we address the following questions about eviction trends and patterns in Kern County:

The Fresno Bee: A rental registry is Fresno’s newest weapon in the battle to wipe out housing blight
  • How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect evictions in Kern County?
  • How many evictions happen annually in Kern County?
  • What amount of money do renters commonly owe when evicted?
  • What proportion of tenants have legal representation in court versus landlords?
  • Who are the top evictors in Kern County?
  • Where are evictions concentrated in Kern County?
  • How do eviction filing rates vary by race or ethnicity?
  • What is the relationship between evictions and rent burdens?
  • What neighborhood-level factors (i.e. racial composition and poverty) are related to eviction filing rates?

How Protected Are You?

Is your local government protecting its renters from housing displacement? We created the Central Valley COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard to find out the answer. Jurisdictions were rated out of a possible 5 points on the strength of their local housing protection policies during the pandemic. This scorecard is modeled after the Eviction Lab COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard (Note: Alameda County is included here for comparison). To learn more about the scoring and criteria, go to https://bit.ly/CVHousingScorecard.

Fresno (City)

2.7 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Moderate protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Weak protection

Fresno County

0.8 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Kern County

0.5 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • No protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Weak protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Merced County

0.7 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Fresno (City)

2.7 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Moderate protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Weak protection

Fresno County

0.8 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Kern County

0.5 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • No protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Weak protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Merced County

0.7 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • No protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Stanislaus County

1.0 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Moderate protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Weak protection

Stockton (City)

2.6 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Moderate protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Moderate protection

San Joaquin County

0.5 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • No protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Weak protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Alameda County

2.6 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • Strong protection
  • Court process:
    • Strong protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Strong protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Weak protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Moderate protection

Stanislaus County

1.0 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Moderate protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Weak protection

Stockton (City)

2.6 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Moderate protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Moderate protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Moderate protection

San Joaquin County

0.5 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • No protection
  • Court process:
    • Moderate protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • No protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Weak protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • No protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • No protection

Alameda County

2.6 out of 5

Protections by…

  • Initiation of eviction:
    • Strong protection
  • Court process:
    • Strong protection
  • Enforcement of eviction order:
    • Total protection
  • Short-term supports:
    • Strong protection
  • Tenancy prevention measures:
    • Weak protection
  • Communication with renters:
    • Moderate protection

Take Action

Here are 3 quick ways you can help us stop impending mass evictions in California (Each one takes just a minute!).

Help us keep Emergency Rules 1 & 2 in place

The California Judicial Council will be meeting soon to decide whether to lift Emergency Rules 1 and 2. If they decide to change this rule, courts can restart eviction processes that have been paused since April. Right now, with COVID-19 cases rising statewide, every eviction can be a death sentence. Tell the California Supreme Court Chief Justice to keep Emergency Rules 1 and 2 in place!

Email your state representative

The state legislature still has not passed protections that will cover all 18 million renters in California. Right now, you may have a few protections or none at all depending on where you live. AB 1436, now in the State Senate Judiciary Committee, will change that. Email your State Assemblymembers and Senators to support AB 1436.

Make a donation

No one should face the threat of eviction, especially during a health crisis. Since the start of the pandemic, Faith in the Valley organizers and volunteer leaders have fought hard to put in place basic protections for renters and homeowners. With your support, we’ll keep fighting to ensure that families and communities across the Central Valley remain in their homes.

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