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Ascencia eyes housing program for homeless

Ascencia, an organization based in Glendale that assists the homeless, could bring a program to Burbank for 20 housing units for homeless adults and families, its executive director said.

The nonprofit, formerly known as PATH Achieve before striking out on its own, recently applied for about $85,000 to subsidize housing for 15 chronically homeless adults and five homeless families in Burbank, said Executive Director Natalie Profant Komuro.

The five-year program could start late next year, she said, noting there were still two hurdles — one local and one national.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Los Angeles County Housing Authority are reviewing the regional application for funding, which would then be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, she said.


“Los Angeles has to make the case that we need more of these types of subsidies,” Profant Komuro said. “I hope we can demonstrate the continued need for funding in L.A. County.”

More than $80 million is being sought for the L.A. funding package, she said.

“I think they can do it, but you never want to take it for granted. It’s a national competition,” Profant Komuro said.

The Burbank program would use 10 studio, five one-bedroom and five two-bedroom apartments once agreements are reached with landlords, she said.


The rent would be based on a client’s income, not the size of the apartment, Profant Komuro added, noting that some people are able to build their income over time and pay more rent. Others are able to move on to more permanent housing.

“These are extremely-low-income people, and their monthly income ranges from $200 to $800 for single people,” Profant Komuro said.

For families, their monthly income would be no more than $1,200 a month.

Through the program, rent for a single would be $175; rent for a one-bedroom apartment would be $300; and rent for a two-bedroom would be $500, Profant Kumoro said. Market-rate rents for the apartments are $961, $1,159 and $1,447, respectively, according to HUD figures for fiscal year 2012.

The difference between the rent and what the tenant would pay is the subsidy, which over five years is $84,450, Profant Kumoro said.

Ascencia would have to raise additional funds to pay for social or medical services the homeless client might need.

Barbara Howell, executive director of Burbank Temporary Aid Center, said she fully supported the grant application, adding that much of the logistics of fulfilling the grant would take place out of her office.

“This is another opportunity to work together to help provide service for the homeless in Burbank,” she added.


According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 202 people in Burbank were homeless in 2011, and of those, 114 were without shelter, 48 were using an emergency shelter and 40 were in transitional housing.

“The vast majority of clients that move into housing, we’ve been working with for a period of time,” Profant Komuro said. “We’re going to know quite a bit about their behavior.”