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12 Families to Make Way for New Housing : Development: Planned construction of 70 units for senior citizens requires largest relocation in city under eminent domain.

June 03, 1993|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Glendale officials have adopted plans to relocate a dozen families to make room for a proposed 70-unit housing project for low-income senior citizens.

Under eminent domain proceedings, the relocation project is the city's largest for a single housing project, officials said.

The plan approved by the Housing Authority on Tuesday will require 28 adults and 11 children in the 12 families to move out of their homes so the city can purchase six lots at 311-327 W. Garfield Ave. in southwest Glendale. The lots adjoin two more parcels on Windsor Avenue owned by the Salvation Army.

Houses and apartments where the families now live will be demolished to assemble one large vacant parcel, which the Salvation Army proposes to use for a four-story apartment development called Silvercrest Senior Housing Project.

Madalyn Blake, director of community development and housing, said purchases of land for new senior-citizen housing in the past required relocation of only a few families and was done informally under financial agreements between tenants, property owners and the city.

The project approved this week must follow strict federal and state guidelines because of the number of families involved, Blake said.

The cost of moving the families is estimated at $280,000, which will be paid out of the city's share of property taxes raised from the downtown redevelopment project.

The Housing Authority last week allocated $2.1 million in redevelopment funds, including relocation costs, for the Silvercrest project. Total development costs are expected to exceed $7 million, with the bulk of the funds to be raised through a grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Beth Stochl, a city administrative analyst.

Applying for HUD funds is a lengthy process and the project is not expected to receive final approval until September, 1994, Stochl said. Construction will take at least a year after funds are granted. But the city plans to relocate all of the families from the site by the end of this year, Stochl said.

Households to be displaced include 14 related adults and children living in one five-bedroom house. Stochl said the family may have to be split up in order to find alternative housing that meets federal guidelines. Attempts are being made to relocate families close to the same neighborhood so that the children can continue to attend the same schools, she said.

The Salvation Army operates about a dozen Silvercrest projects in Southern California, plus many others nationwide, according to a spokeswoman for the charitable organization.

The Salvation Army is one of dozens of organizations competing for dwindling allocations of federal grants for housing projects. If the Silvercrest project is rejected by HUD, the city could lose the opportunity to recoup part of the costs of preparing the land and relocating families.

But officials have decided that is "an acceptable risk for us to take," Stochl said.

Development of housing for low-income senior citizens is a city priority and the vacant parcel could still be used for another project, she said.

About 2,200 senior citizens are on a waiting list for housing. The city has three senior-citizen housing facilities with a total of 287 occupied units. Two more are under construction, and another 85 units are scheduled to be completed this year.

Aside from the Silvercrest project, the city has reserved more than $1 million in redevelopment funds for new senior-citizen housing development, officials said.

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