April 20, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For Supportive Housing for Veterans at West Los Angeles VA

Construction of Five New Buildings Marks Progress in Fight To House Veterans

By Dolores Quintana

Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) joined Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and other state and local officials today at the groundbreaking ceremony for five new West Los Angeles VA buildings on June 27, 2023. These buildings, 401A, 402, 404, 156, and 157, will provide supportive housing for 380 unhoused and at-risk veterans and their families. This event marks another significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat veteran homelessness, following the opening of 233 new housing units for permanent supportive housing earlier this year.

The construction projects that are transforming the West Los Angeles VA campus into a hub for veteran housing opportunities are the result of the West Los Angeles Leasing Act. This legislation, authored by Congressman Lieu and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2016, became law and paved the way for the redevelopment and expansion of housing options for veterans at the West Los Angeles VA.

Congressman Lieu expressed his appreciation for the progress made via a press release, “I am honored to attend today’s groundbreaking for Buildings 401A, 402, 404, 156, and 157, representing the next phase in our fight against veteran homelessness. During my time as the representative for the West LA VA Medical Center in Congress for eight years, I saw firsthand the dedication of all those who got us here today, including advocates, community leaders, and, most importantly, veterans. These new buildings will provide safe, comfortable, and reliable housing for 380 of our nation’s heroes and their families. I’m proud to have co-authored the West Los Angeles Leasing Act with Senator Feinstein, which helped make this development possible. I’m also pleased to have championed the PACT Act, legislation that provides over $350 million in funding for critical improvements at the West LA VA to better serve our veterans. Today’s groundbreaking is another great step in the right direction, but our efforts to ensure all of our veterans have a safe place to call home will continue. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration, my colleagues in Congress, our state and local officials, advocates, and my fellow veterans to end veteran homelessness.”

While celebrating the groundbreaking ceremony as a significant step forward, Congressman Lieu emphasized that the efforts to address veteran homelessness will not cease. He expressed his commitment to working alongside the Biden Administration, his congressional colleagues, state and local officials, advocates, and fellow veterans to ensure all veterans have a safe place to call home.

The groundbreaking of Buildings 401A, 402, 404, 156, and 157 follows the earlier openings of Buildings 205, 208 in May, and 207 in February. Looking ahead, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced in March the signing of three new lease agreements for the construction of 264 additional permanent supportive housing units on the West LA VA Campus. These units are projected to be completed and available for occupancy in 2024 and 2025.

Congressman Lieu has been a prominent advocate in the fight against veteran homelessness. He authored legislation with Senator Feinstein to ensure that lease revenue generated at the West LA VA campus is directed toward housing and other services for veterans, which was signed into law by President Biden in 2021. In 2022, Congressman Lieu and Senator Feinstein introduced a measure allowing funds specifically generated by easements at the campus to be allocated to supportive housing developments, which was included in the annual defense authorization bill and subsequently signed into law. 

Furthermore, Congressman Lieu co-sponsored the PACT Act, a comprehensive law that secured over $350 million for housing developments at the West LA VA. He also played a crucial role in securing $483 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which combines HUD housing assistance with VA case management and supportive services for unhoused veterans.

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