Housing planned for severely disabled

Jackson Bell

The city’s first independent-living complex for the severely disabled

could break ground as soon as February, the developer said.

United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the


organization heading the 18-unit project, has raised all but $250,000

of the $3.5 million needed, according to Ron Cohen, the

organization’s chief executive. Cohen said he expects to obtain the

money and begin construction at 600 S. San Fernando Blvd. in the next


six months.

“Affordable and accessible housing is a No. 1 priority needed for

people with developmental disabilities,” he said. “There are people

living in institutions for the sole reason that they can’t afford not

to [live anywhere else].”

The Redevelopment Agency purchased the land at the intersection

of San Fernando and Providencia Avenue for $560,000 in 2000, and

contributed $901,544 to the project, Housing Development Manager


Duane Solomon said. Cohen said the additional money was obtained from

federal grants.

The proposed complex would be adjacent to where the Burbank Senior

Artist Colony and Bud Ovrom Park are planned, and will be the first

of its kind in the city, Community Development Director Sue Georgino


“Burbank lacks in fully assisted living,” Georgino said. “The

reason [the city] is focusing on it is because we’ve identified the


need in the community.”

Cohen said the Burbank project would be the largest of the

organization’s 41 residential facilities in Southern California.

Each apartment will feature wheelchair-accessible showers along with

wider doorways, tilted mirrors and ramps. Each unit will also have

lowered light switches, remote-controlled door openers and an

emergency call system.

United Cerebral Palsy assists about 30,000 people throughout the

nation, 65% of whom have disabilities other than cerebral palsy,

according to the organization’s Web site.