Burbank Unveils New Affordable Housing Units at Ribbon-Cutting

( © 2024 Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Burbank Housing Corporation celebrated a significant milestone with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), adding two much-needed affordable housing units to the city’s inventory. The ADU, situated within the Las Casitas de Niagara property on North Niagara Street, was warmly welcomed by more than 50 attendees, including key city officials and community leaders on May 22nd.

Mayor Nick Schultz, alongside Vice Mayor Nikki Perez, Councilmembers Konstantine Anthony and Tamala Takahashi, and City Manager Justin Hess, joined in commemorating the occasion. Mayor Schultz emphasized the importance of investing in affordable housing, recognizing the challenges in securing enough funding for projects in Burbank’s current landscape.

BHC’s decision to maximize the utilization of existing properties showcases a strategic and innovative response to budget constraints in the realm of affordable housing. Acknowledging the scarcity of resources, the organization has made it a priority to creatively leverage its current assets to address the pressing need for housing. Following the successful opening of its first ADU project in March 2024 at its property on Linden Avenue, Las Casitas de Niagara marks BHC’s second venture in this endeavor.

Sylvia Moreno, BHC executive director, emotionally recounted the journey behind the creation of these two units, expressing gratitude toward the dedicated staff involved. Despite the financial hurdles, Moreno took pride in the final product: an attractive, all-electric building featuring solar panels, tankless water heaters, and other water-and-energy-efficient amenities.

The newly unveiled units cater to low-income households, comprising an ADA-compliant one-bedroom unit on the first floor and a three-bedroom unit on the second story. The 459-square-foot one-bedroom unit will rent for $589 per month to qualifying extremely low-income applicants, while the 998-square-foot 3-bedroom unit will rent for $1,473 per month to qualifying low-income applicants. Due to the high demand for this affordable housing program, BHC maintains an income-based waiting list system to fill all of its vacancies.

Funding for the project was sourced from various avenues, including Burbank Housing Corporation Funds, City HOME Federal and the Burbank Housing Authority Funds, and grants from Providence Mother Joseph. Additionally, contributions from Burbank Water and Power, Enterprise Bank, and the L.A. County Development Authority played crucial roles in realizing the project’s completion.

BHC Board President Chris Welker reiterated the organization’s commitment to ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, has access to quality housing.

The event also served as a poignant tribute to Marcos Gonzalez, a dedicated City of Burbank staffer who tragically passed away in February. Gonzalez played a pivotal role in facilitating affordable housing projects and was honored with a fountain and plaque in recognition of his invaluable contributions. His wife Griselda and their three children attended the ceremony, underscoring the profound impact of his legacy on the community.