Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced Congress has approved legislation to allow seismic-safety projects to proceed at three VA facilities in California. Buildings at these facilities are not up to current earthquake building codes and must be renovated or replaced.
The projects include:
- San Diego ($187.5 million): The department will construct a 45-bed spinal cord injury center, a 43-bed community living center and hospice unit.
- Long Beach ($101.9 million): The department will construct a 120-bed community living center, a clinic to provide inpatient and outpatient mental health services and a plant to provide heat and power to the campus.
- West Los Angeles ($35 million): The department will renovate and retrofit Building 205 to provide supportive housing for 70 homeless veterans.
“I’m pleased that Congress has finally passed legislation to allow construction on critical seismic-safety projects in Los Angeles, San Diego and Long Beach after nine months of delay,” said Senator Feinstein. “These projects are necessary to ensure the safety of veterans, their families, doctors and nurses.”
Feinstein continued: “The seismic-safety upgrades at the West LA VA will allow for the building to be converted into housing for homeless veterans. The Los Angeles area is home to more homeless veterans than anywhere else in the country and new housing is sorely needed.”
Before VA construction projects can begin, they must be approved by the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs Committees in the House and Senate. Funding for the projects was approved by the Appropriations Committees last year, but the projects still needed to be authorized by the Veterans Affairs Committees. Legislation passed by the House today and the Senate last week provides the necessary approval from the Veterans Affairs Committees.
For next year, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $354 million for projects in San Francisco, Long Beach and Los Angeles. For these projects to start on time, Congress must approve a final spending bill and authorize the VA to begin construction.