Burbank Housing is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the supply of affordable housing in Sonoma County so that low- to moderate-income people of all ages, backgrounds and special needs will have a better opportunity to live in decent and affordable housing. Burbank offers rental and homeownership assistance as well as other essential community services.
- Mutual Self-Help Homeownership
This is a unique opportunity for lower income first-time homebuyers to own a home. Owner-builders work on the homes under Burbank's supervision and their "sweat equity" serves as the down payment.
Burbank develops and constructs new housing and offers affordable homeownership opportunities to eligible, lower income, first-time homebuyers.
Homes developed by Burbank are usually resold through its resale program to new lower-income buyers. A shared equity formula provides a new subsidy for subsequent buyers.
- Family housing developed by Burbank and available to all low-income people is intended to meet a range of incomes from 30% to 60% of area median income.
- Acquisition and rehabilitation of housing preserves existing affordability which could be lost, creates supportive housing for tenants with special needs, and rehabilitates blighted housing.
- Special needs housing with supportive services is available to people with disabilities and to other groups, such as seniors and farm workers.
- Community Services
Coordinators enlist agencies and organizations to provide services that introduce opportunity and tools to help individuals realize their potential, gain access, contribute, and actively participate in the greater community.
Burbank primarily serves Sonoma County's low and very low income population where the area median income is just over $75,000 for a family of four and, according to a 2004 American Community Survey, 5.6% of families live below the poverty level. Housing in Sonoma County is among the least affordable in the country. Client diversity is 47% European American, 43% Hispanic/Latino, 4% African American, 3% Other Ethnicity, 2% Asian American, and 1% Native American. Sixty percent of Burbank's clients are women. Annual incomes served in current projects range from $7,200 to $79,600.
Burbank Housing has developed over 1,400 new rental units and rehabilitated over 400 units. In 28 new subdivisions, Burbank has developed and constructed over 680 homes, 485 of them through its mutual self-help program. Realizing the limitations often felt by children and adults in affordable housing, Burbank's Community Services Program provides community linkages and on-site programs that are vital to residents' ability to achieve greater social and economic self-sufficiency. Services, generally provided in collaboration with other agencies, include Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts, ESL and parenting classes, after school programs, computer labs, and family literacy programs.
After their son Joseph experienced several medical problems requiring frequent hospitalizations, Leonard and Josephine Wells found their lives turned upside down. They lost their jobs, and then lost their home. The Wells stayed with relatives, which was very difficult with a sick child, until they were accepted into Jay’s Place, assisted by Burbank. At Jay’s Place, the Wells were able to get their lives back on track. Josephine is now a property manager at Burbank Housing, Leonard is a bus driver and Joseph will start kindergarten this year. According to Leonard, “All there is to do now is go forward!” Full Story