Bakersfield is Coming for Blighted Lots, in the Name of Housing
March 6, 2023
After failing to win bids earlier this month on 16 dilapidated properties deemed a nuisance to residents, the city of Bakersfield is considering option B: How to help out those who did buy them?
It’s a position the city has apparently never found itself in before, because as far as anyone can remember, it has never tried to become so directly involved. But its frustrations are not new.
In recent years, more properties considered derelict and abandoned have festered throughout the city’s urban core, especially in Ward 2.
“Chronic nuisance properties are problematic for a lot of reasons,” Vice Mayor and Ward 2 Councilman Andrae Gonzales said. “They create a negative externality for the whole neighborhood, making it less safe. And we get a lot of complaints from residents.”
These are the homes with boarded-up windows and doors, overgrown yards and collapsed roofs — the kind of properties that have incurred a structure fire or are a regular site for transients.
After five years of neglect, and usually because of unpaid property taxes, the county taxman can assert authority to sell the property and auction it the following year.
Local leaders want those lots dealt with, especially the ones they have watched, year after year, sit on the auction list and go unsold.
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