Federal Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen team to devise plan for revitalizing West L.A. campus

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Federal Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen team to devise plan for revitalizing West L.A. campus

Federal Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen team to devise plan for revitalizing West L.A. campus

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen a team to devise a master plan, due Oct. 16, for revitalizing the agency’s West Los Angeles campus to best serve veterans in need of housing, health care and other aid.

“We will transform the West L.A. VA campus into a vibrant community,” Vincent Kane, senior advisor on homelessness to VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald, said in a statement Thursday.

The master plan team will be composed of three firms that will work with residents, veterans service organizations, elected officials and nonprofit groups to tackle the job of determining how best to use and refurbish the 387-acre campus. The VA has long been criticized for inadequately maintaining the campus with its many historic buildings, even as more than 4,300 veterans, at last count, sleep on the streets of Los Angeles County.

In January, the VA agreed to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of chronically homeless veterans. The agency agreed to transform the sprawling campus into a center of permanent housing and to curtail the controversial practice of leasing VA facilities to corporations and other nongovernment entities.

Local and federal officials have committed to ending veterans’ homelessness in the county by the end of the year. Last week, the West L.A. campus opened Building 209, a structure with supportive housing for chronically homeless veterans with medical and mental health needs. []

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