The city has withdrawn an offer to purchase the Scott Motel for use as transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness, a city official confirmed.
Burbank’s Community Development Department had presented the plan to the City Council in September, explaining that staff members hoped to purchase and arrange to rehabilitate the motel for $4.9 million, $2.8 million of which could potentially come from the state’s Project Roomkey grant program. The 11 units of the motel could then be used to temporarily house homeless individuals.
But when the expected property manager, the nonprofit Burbank Housing Corp., toured the property, its representatives “found a number of concerning items,” according to Simone McFarland, the city’s assistant community development director and communications manager.
For example, McFarland said, BHC was concerned that there was “environmental contamination” in the building that would cost nearly $300,000 to clean.
The city and BHC were also worried that the organization providing services for the occupants of the proposed project, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, would have to spend too much money on aiding a relatively small number of families.
Ultimately, the BHC board voted not to move forward with the Scott Motel project. Burbank staff members also declined to purchase the property for the city itself, McFarland added, citing the same concerns.
She said the city will look for other properties to purchase and work with the rescue mission, as well as with other potential service providers. Since the Project Roomkey funds are no longer available, the city is also seeking other grant sources. McFarland also noted that if funds for the project are received from Los Angeles County, the city might be able to consider purchasing the motel again.
“We know the demand [for transitional housing] is really high and there’s a need for more, so we’re going to continue to look so we can help with the homeless in Burbank,” McFarland said.