Oct 21 2015
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the draft master plan for the West Los Angeles VA campus:
“The Los Angeles area is home to the largest number of veterans in the country. Of the 300,000 veterans who live in the LA region, 4,000 are homeless. We are trying hard to see that this 388-acre facility on Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards becomes a leader in veteran services in the United States. Right now, it is not.
“Simply put, the campus needs this plan to meet the needs of veterans today and in the future. This is a big step forward in ensuring the West LA VA can fulfill its mission.
“The master plan designates an area on the campus for a new 450,000 square-foot hospital building to be completed by 2020. The main hospital building is seismically unsafe and must be replaced before a major earthquake strikes. This is a significant project and I’m working with my colleagues and the administration to secure funding for it.
“The plan also proposes developing up to 900 units of additional housing through new construction and renovation of existing buildings. Importantly, housing would be connected to intensive health care, education, legal and mental health services to ensure the underlying causes of veteran homelessness are addressed.
“The plan reinforces the need to pass the Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act, a bill to provide the department the authority it needs to construct housing as quickly and efficiently as possible, and provide additional services. I will continue to work with Senators Isakson and Blumenthal to move the bill through the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“I urge all veterans, community organizations and other partners to submit their comments to the department so their voices are heard and the plan can be finalized. The department is in discussions with veterans groups and current tenants including UCLA and the Brentwood School to resolve outstanding issues and expects decisions by the end of the year. The final master plan needs to reflect the views of California’s veterans.”