More affordable housing on horizon

CITY HALL — Low-income residents looking for affordable housing will have several opportunities this summer to enter lotteries for federally subsidized complexes.

Applications are available for a new 23-unit community currently under construction for extremely low-income adults with disabilities who, for a family of two, must earn no more than $15,850 a year.

In coming months, applications will be available for two new affordable family housing projects — the 68-unit Glendale City Lights and 30-unit Gardens on Garfield — which are under construction.

Affordable housing projects subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development features very low rent where residents pay 30% of their adjusted income, so spots are always in high demand, said Sona Mooradian, an administrative analyst for the city’s Department of Community Development and Housing. And in light of the recession, demand has become even more heightened in recent months.

“There is always a need in Glendale for affordable housing,” she said.

“We have quite a bit of projects this year.”

The department expects a high volume of applications for the three projects since some applicants will actually be chosen to become tenants, she said.

A two-week application period that ended last week to get on the waiting list for two complexes for low-income seniors generated more than 2,000 applications per project, Mooradian said.

“For a wait list, that’s considered a lot,” she said.

The Otto Gruber House, a 40-unit complex at 143 S. Isabel St., and the Gardens, at 333 Monterey Road, currently have no vacancies, but a lottery will be held from the thousands of applications to place applicants on wait lists; 350 applicants will be chosen to be added to Otto Gruber’s wait list and 550 for the Gardens’ list.

To qualify, applicants must be 62 or older and have an income no higher than $27,750 for a household of one, or $31,700 for two.

“There’s a lot of people who would like that because seniors are generally on a fixed income,” she said

Still, some residents say that it has taken years to get off the wait list and into one of the city’s affordable housing communities.

This is the first time the waiting list for the Gardens’ has been opened since its initial construction about 15 years ago, Mooradian said.

Councilman John Drayman said he was not surprised by the massive interest in the city’s affordable housing options for low-income residents.

He noted that in the city of Los Angeles thousands of people often apply to get on wait lists for wait lists.

“That is a facet of this economy, this recession, in the first place,” he said.

“It hits our most economically challenged members of our community. That is part of the cruelty of a national recession.”

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