Landlords at the 2019 California Landlords’ Summit on Homelessness last week pledged 84 units toward housing Kern County’s homeless population.

The pledge builds on the success of last year’s inaugural summit, which saw 60 units committed.

More than 300 landlords, property managers, and other rental housing industry professionals attended this year’s event, held June 20 in Bakersfield.

The Income Property Association of Kern, a chapter of the California Apartment Association, organized the event with the help of CAA, Adventist Health Bakersfield, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, and the Housing Authority of the County of Kern.

Ted Iturriria, a Bakersfield-based property manager, credited the summit with changing his attitude toward the homeless.

“After attending the summit that IPAK put on yesterday, we ended up showing an apartment to a mother of two who was referred to us by the Bakersfield Homeless Center,” Iturriria said.  “Today she submitted her application and is on her way to finding a roof over her head.”

Attendees learned about what programs are available to landlords who rent to homeless tenants. They also heard the testimony of formerly homeless youth who have successfully graduated from shared housing as well as landlords who accept housing vouchers. Later, they heard from legal experts on how they can amend internal policies to accept homeless tenants without triggering fair housing complaints.

The event will be featured in a series of short documentaries on housing, produced by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Don Hardy, with funding provided by Kaiser Permanente and national homeless nonprofit Community Solutions.

“IPAK is leading the way in bringing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors together to find solutions to the issue of homelessness”, said Greg Terzakis, CAA’s senior vice president for Central California.  “We are proud to partner with them and hope that this initiative, along with an urgent effort by our state Legislature to create more housing for all income levels, will ensure that every Californian has a place to call home.”