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Housing Projects for Homeless Vets Still Not Funded

"We are disappointed that the Administration has neither requested authorization nor funding for these critical projects," Dianne Feinstein and Henry Waxman write in letter urging funding for Buildings 205 and 208 at the West Los Angeles VA.

Federal lawmakers this week continued to press for funds to build more housing at the Veterans Affair's West Los Angeles Medical Center in Brentwood.

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) are asking the Obama Administration to budget in the 2014 fiscal year for renovations of two vacant buildings, Buildings 205 and 208, at the sprawling campus just west of the 405 freeway.

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the lawmakers cite figures from the 2011 countywide homeless count, which found 1 in 10 homeless veterans were in Los Angeles.

"The situation in Los Angeles demands immediate attention," Feinstein and Waxman wrote.

In 2007, the VA committed to renovating the buildings and one other, Building 209, to house homeless veterans in need of housing and support services.

But Building 209 is the only one to so far receive funding. Ground broke at the end of January on that $20-million project. 

"We are disappointed that the Administration has neither requested authorization nor funding for these critical projects," Feinstein and Waxman's letter states.

A VA spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the VA on allegations veterans currently have limited access to, or are prohibited from accessing about one-third of the sprawling West L.A. campus. The lawsuit seeks to prevent the federal government from renting some of its space to private companies that do not provide health care-related services.

An investigation by National Public Radio in September of last year found the medical center has made at least $28 million on the private leases.

mimi February 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM
This is sickening. I don't understand how this happened or why the V.A. can get away with profiteering at the expense of homeless vets. I hope the ACLU will make this injustice their top priority. Does anyone know what the public can do to push for immediate action?
martin marteen February 17, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Justice and ACLU uttered in unison is an oxymoron. When the ACLU is involved I am always suspicious and dubious, and would like more information as to the merit of what they espouse. Frequently polticians assuage their consciences like the wealthy buying papal indulgences. Let's hear what is planned before we blindly support an ineffective project striking at the cosmetics of the problem, rather than the root cause that would in the end better the lives of these veterans.

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