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Redevelopment OKs UCP funding

Connie Baker

Developers of the city’s first independent- living complex for the

severely disabled have moved a step closer to breaking ground.

The Redevelopment Agency voted Tuesday to approve $61,544 in

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additional funding for United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles,

developers of a proposed 18-unit project that would serve those with

very low incomes.

“This is a good project,” Councilman Dave Golonski said. “It’s a

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very expensive proposi- tion, but the project is needed, and I am

pleased to support it.”

The city, which paid $560,000 to purchase land for the project at

San Fernando Boulevard and Providencia Avenue, has also contributed

$750,000 toward the $3.5-million price tag.

As a condition of the city’s latest contribution, United Cerebral

Palsy must come up with $90,000 of the remaining $154,544 needed to

begin construction, said Duane Solomon, the city’s housing

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development manager.

"[UCP] has also secured or applied for funding from several other

resources and increased its own equity participation from $10,000 to

$250,000,” Solomon said.

According to Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of the

organization, there’s still a gap to be bridged despite the

generosity of the city and other grant resources. Cohen said he

doesn’t want to use money set aside for existing patient care to fund

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the balance, but will do so if additional grant money cannot be

secured.

“I appreciate the kindness of the community,” he said. “But we’re

still short, quite a bit short. We are running out of time, but by

hook or by crook, I will close escrow in November.”

According to a staff report, there is an unmet housing need in the

community that affects approximately 17,200 Burbank residents who

have a disability. A long roll of finan- cial red tape has

interrupted the development of the much- needed facility for the past

five years, according to the report.

“This is a great use of [Redevelopment Agency] funds, and I am

very happy to see the project move forward,” Council- man Jef Vander

Borght said.

The project is one of the largest of United Cerebral Palsy’s 41

independent-living facilities in Southern California, and will

feature wheelchair-accessible showers, tilted mirrors, and wider

ramps and doorways. The new units will also have remote-controlled

door openers, an emergency-call system and lowered light switches.


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