Covenants Neighborhoods Suburban Expansion Before 1938
Zoning Public Housing Resources Eminent Domain Buying on Contract
Public Housing in Bakersfield shares a similar fate to other California communities. Older minority neighborhoods often received less urban investment, of which destruction or purchasing under eminent domain was more likely. Adelante Vista, a public housing community in East Bakersfield, still stands and functions today as a public housing community. Adelante Vista was built over an older community and purchased through eminent domain.
The first African American assisted housing was in the Sunset Tract, a low-density tract compared to Mayflower, which helped low-income families in defense-related industries. No public housing would ever be built in Mayflower, but instead in Sunset. Residents of Mayflower were housed in the public housing units built in the Sunset Tract. The first duplex unit was Adelante Vista in 1942. Families qualified if their yearly income was less than $1,200. Each year the Housing Authority produced reports on surveys conducted, money used, and new developments. By 1943, most families were in defense-related labor or aiding in agriculture.
All the units and communities were built under the Housing Authority of Kern County’s vision of suburban modernity and desirability.