Press Releases

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) and Congressman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) today urged President Obama to request funds to house homeless veterans on the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs Campus be included in his fiscal year 2016 budget.

“We believe solving homelessness for veterans in Los Angeles should be a national priority,” the lawmakers wrote. “As such, we specifically ask that you request an authorization for the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into enhanced use leases for buildings 205 and 208 as envisioned in S. 1987 and H.R. 2004. Alternatively, we ask that you include funding in your Fiscal Year 2016 budget request to modify buildings 205 and 208 to provide homeless housing.”

Full text of the letter follows:

July 31, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20050

Dear Mr. President:

We write today to ask you to include a request to provide housing for homeless veterans in vacant buildings 205 and 208 on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Campus in your Fiscal Year 2016 budget. We believe solving homelessness for veterans in Los Angeles should be a national priority.

On any given night, well over 100,000 veterans are either homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless throughout America. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, California is home to 2 million veterans, a number greater than that of any other state. An unfortunate truth is that the greater Los Angeles area has one of the largest populations of homeless veterans in the nation.

As such, we specifically ask that you request an authorization for the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into enhanced use leases for buildings 205 and 208 as envisioned in S. 1987 and H.R. 4004. Alternatively, we ask that you include funding in your Fiscal Year 2016 budget request to modify buildings 205 and 208 to provide homeless housing.

Our vision is that the Department would enter into partnerships with non-profit organizations and use these buildings to provide housing for homeless veterans who need long term clinical care. Our legislation, S. 1987 and H.R. 2004, impacts directing spending and is considered an earmark according to the House Committee on Appropriations. Therefore, we believe it is critical that you request enhanced use lease authority or funding in your Fiscal Year 2016 budget in order to accomplish the goal of our legislation.

Thank you for your leadership on ending veteran homelessness and for consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator
 
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
 
Henry A. Waxman
United States Congressman

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