Burbank Housing Corporation (BHC) owns and operates its housing program in the five Focus Neighborhoods established by the City of Burbank. Focus Areas are neighborhoods that the City of Burbank has designated for special attention and programs. Over time, BHC has positively impacted these communities by creating a service-enriched and supportive environment for our residents and the surrounding population.
In the late 1990’s, this neighborhood was dilapidated and infested with gang activity and crime. Long considered the most dangerous neighborhood in the City of Burbank, this short street became the object of an integrated approach to housing, safety and neighborhood engagement.
The City of Burbank purchased most of the worst properties and began a massive rehabilitation process as well as an innovative program of gang suppression. Over the years, BHC acquired more of the properties on the street and today, the Elmwood Neighborhood has 65 units.
To further enhance the lives of our residents, BHC has also created an after-school Achievement Center to provide tutoring and mentoring for the neighborhood children and a Community Garden tended by the students at the Elmwood Achievement Center. Our Elmwood Neighborhood has maintained an unblemished record of safety.The award-winning success of this program led to the creation of the Burbank Housing Corporation, a private non-profit developer charged with owning and maintaining the affordable properties in perpetuity.
In close proximity to the Burbank Airport, this area had fallen unto hard times by the development of industrial and commercial businesses on its fringes. Consisting mainly of small-scale rental properties (4-12 units), BHC had to acquire a large number of properties in order to start making a positive impact. With 14 properties and 65 units, the Golden State Area has become one of BHC’s fastest developing areas.
The Catalina Activity Center was opened in 2006, which provides an after-school program for children in BHC properties and neighboring buildings.
In 2000, BHC began to replicate the model that had proven so successful in Elmwood. Over the years, BHC acquired six properties in the Verdugo/Tujunga Avenue area. A second Activity Center was developed to service the children and youth of this new target neighborhood.
It was in this focus area that BHC began to experiment with rehabilitation that aimed to create larger-sized units to better accommodate bigger families. This was done by joining smaller one-bedrooms into three bedroom apartments. Presently, BHC owns and operates 72 units of affordable housing in this neighborhood.
This small area is perhaps one of the densest rental pockets in the City of Burbank. Impacted with gang activity and several seriously dilapidated and dangerous larger projects, it became the focus of BHC efforts in 2003. In 2002, BHC purchased a 7-unit property which provided a foothold in the area.
With the Burbank Redevelopment Agency’s legal and financial backing, BHC acquired 94 of the worst units in the City. Demolition of 24 units and a massive 4-year rehabilitation process created 70 units with increased parking and open spaces, a new Activity Center and BHC corporate office. The project was awarded the 2011 Award of Excellence given by the California Redevelopment Association to projects of unusual merit and impact.
In 2006, BHC also acquired four adjacent properties on Elliott Drive. The purpose of this acquisition was to develop home-ownership opportunity for very-low income families. In partnership with the City of Burbank and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, seven new townhouse units were built and one small single-family house was fully rehabilitated into a planned development project now owned by eight local families. In order to make the project affordable to those families, BHC will continue to own the land and lease it to the homeowners. The Keeler-Elliott Home ownership program was completed in late 2011.
Tucked in the southernmost part of Burbank, The Lake/Alameda community is a small neighborhood that represents a mixture of very small rental properties and single family homes with rental units to the rear. The area is divided from the rest of the City by a channelized river wash. BHC began its efforts in this area in 2007 with the purchase of three properties, one of which is a four-bedroom single-family home. A recently completed walkway and bike path along the river wash promises to provide this neighborhood with a much needed open area and communication pathway.