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LOS ANGELES – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after joining VA Secretary Bob McDonald at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to unveil the Draft Master Plan for the campus. This historic framework is a significant milestone in returning the West L.A. VA to a thriving and vibrant Veteran community.
“I am proud to stand with Secretary McDonald today as the unveiling of the Draft Master Plan signals the beginning of a new era of action on behalf of Los Angeles County’s Veteran heroes. The centerpiece of the plan calls for 1,200 units of Permanent Supportive Housing throughout the property. Solving Veterans homelessness in America means solving it in Los Angeles. Supportive housing at the West L.A. VA is a crucial step forward in doing just that.”
“However, VA does not currently have the proper leasing authority to begin this housing construction. That’s why I have introduced legislation that will grant authority to the Secretary to construct Permanent Supportive Housing at the West L.A. VA. The 1888 Deed calls for this land to be permanently maintained as an Old Soldiers’ Home; without this authority there can be no home.”
“I am proud to work with Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has introduced identical legislation in the Senate. We are confident that we have the support of Veterans, the community, and our colleagues in Congress to have this important legislation signed into law.”
To create momentum in the mission to build Supportive Housing at the West L.A. VA, Congressman Lieu established an Elected Officials Council on Veterans earlier this year. The Council will serve to support passage of his Veteran housing legislation, monitor implementation of the Draft Master Plan and continue the unprecedented collaboration started by Secretary McDonald a year ago.
This past October, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law authorizing $35 million dollars for seismic retrofit projects at the West L.A. VA. Congressman Lieu, Senators Boxer and Feinstein collaborated on this legislation in Congress.
This month, Congressman Lieu introduced the Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs Seismic Safety and Construction Authorization Act to authorize additional funds for critical seismic safety and construction projects at VA facilities throughout California, including another $35 million for the West Los Angeles VA.
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