Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CDD Profiles: Irina Kassabian

Irina Kassabian is dedicated to helping improve people’s lives through her work. She is a Housing Advisor and has worked for the City of Glendale for nearly 16 years. Irina spends a great amount of time ensuring that Glendale residents have the information they need about affordable housing.

The Nuts & Bolts

As a Housing Advisor, Irina assists tenants and landlord with questions regarding housing policies, rules, and regulations. She is also responsible for determining if individuals who live in Glendale are eligible for the Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). 

Helping the Community 
Irina uses her skills in the workplace to make sure the community is updated about new Housing programs and opportunities. She does this by conducting public forums and television interviews to speak to the public about Section 8 and other affordable housing alternatives. 

She also devotes her work time to helping the homeless community in Glendale by volunteering to collect information and data on individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Fair Housing and Civil Rights 
Irina worked on a team to improve the Housing Authority's compliance with fair housing and civil rights requirements. The Glendale Housing Authority has been recognized as a high-performance agency by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Irina played a significant role in making sure the Glendale Housing Authority consistently maintains and exceeds its high-performance.


  • Irina helped initiate a program at the Verdugo Jobs Center (VJC) to translate forms into Armenian for the monolingual Armenian community in Glendale. She helped translate most of the forms herself. She also made changes in their oral presentation script to make the concept of the program more culturally comprehensible. 
  • She meets with Glendale residents and teaches them about affordable housing and their eligibility for Section 8. 
  • Irina started her career as a Vocational Counselor at VJC and she enjoys the fact that she can still help educate people by being a Housing Advisor at the City of Glendale.


  • Immigrated to the United States from Yerevan, Armenia when she was 23. 
  • Obtained a Bachelors Degree in English from Armenia and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from CSUN after coming to the United States. 
  • She originally wanted to be a school principal to educate and help people. 
  • Worked at the Verdugo Jobs Center for seven years before moving to the Glendale City Housing Department. 
  • Work Philosophy: "Do my best in whatever I do, and make positive change in people’s lives."
Irina’s favorite part about working for the City of Glendale is seeing the smiles and gratitude on her tenants’ faces, and being able to serve her community. She works constantly to bridge the cultural gap between the City of Glendale and its diverse residents.