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Housing for homeless veterans pondered

Sale of properties once intended for child care is contingent on help from city.

April 01, 2011|By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com

CITY HALL — A partner of PATH Achieve Glendale is attempting to acquire two South Glendale properties that once were slated to host a New Horizons childcare center.

PATH Ventures — a nonprofit housing developer under the umbrella of the People Assisting The Homeless, or PATH, is in escrow to buy the vacant properties in the 1200 block of South Maryland Avenue that for years were intended to host a $4.7-million expansion project for New Horizons Family Center.

Facing significant cash-flow issues, New Horizons founder Maria Rochart last fall scrapped plans for the “Children's Village” project and announced she had placed the property on the market. Upon its sale, she said, she could repay the city $300,000 in federal funds spent on pre-development costs for the defunct project.

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Several months later, Rochart announced the nonprofit would close its doors for good at its primary location on South Glendale Avenue.

Now, her Realtor, J.P. Perron, says that PATH Ventures is in escrow on the property, with the sale contingent upon receiving city approvals and funding to build a specialty affordable housing development for military veterans.

“They really are needing the city to cooperate and assist with them. The numbers that they can do each unit for is a fraction, pennies on the dollar, compared to ADI,” Perron said, referring to the affordable housing firm Advanced Development & Investment Inc., which allegedly bilked the city out of millions through inflated construction costs.

PATH Ventures has for several years overseen a “scattered site” program that places chronically homeless individuals in 13 housing units throughout the city, said Jeremy Sidell, chief development communications officer for PATH.

The residents receive intensive case management, mental health services and health services.

Sidell said the organization is eager to increase its work within Glendale.

The City Council has in the past year been vocal about wanting to boost the city’s housing offerings for military veterans.

“Frankly, with any community that we work with, if there is something we can help address a need and an issue in their community, we want to do that,” Sidell said.

Peter Zovak, the city’s deputy director of community development, said the nonprofit was one of several developers who have submitted affordable housing proposals for a variety of sites within the city.

The proposals are slated to reach the Housing Authority, a seven-member body that includes all five City Council members, in the next 30 days, Zovak said.

“We’ve been receiving a number of proposals, and we are waiting to go toward council to get direction from them,” he said. “Whether or not it’s something that the authority will be interested in, we don’t know until we get direction from them.”
 
 

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