Plan provides housing, therapeutic services for LA County’s more than 6,000 homeless veterans
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced legislation to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into lease agreements on two buildings at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Campus to increase the supply of supportive housing for homeless veterans.
“More than 6,000 veterans are homeless in Los Angeles. This is a disgrace and should be a national shame. We can’t afford to wait any longer to increase the housing supply at West LA VA,” said Senator Feinstein.
The concentration of veterans in Los Angeles County is the largest in the country. Feinstein’s bill specifically authorizes the West Los Angeles Campus to enter into long-term lease agreements on buildings 205 and 208, both of which are currently vacant and in need of renovation. These partnerships are limited and are explicitly to provide housing and therapeutic services. The leases are not commercial in nature and will not detract from the designated mission of the campus—providing quality services to veterans.
Senator Feinstein added: “This legislation provides authority for the VA to seek public-private partnerships and expedite the renovation of homeless veterans housing. This is authority the Secretary of Veterans Affairs told me he needs to quicken the pace of renovations in buildings 205 and 208 and increase the number of beds and services for homeless veterans in Southern California. My colleagues in the Senate should pass this bill without delay.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) intends to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives shortly.
Last year, Secretary Shinseki committed to Senator Feinstein that the Department of Veterans Affair would expand housing vouchers for homeless veterans, increase medical outreach workers and have a dedicated homeless center at the West Los Angeles VA facility.