Failure to Use Donated Land Brings Frustration and Controversy
Four hundred acres of government that was donated in the late 1800s with the intended purpose of housing homeless disabled veterans is at the center of a controversy-talking place in Los Angeles. The New York Times highlighted this story on its Opinion page with an October 8, 2012 editorial, “Homeless Veterans: Who’s Responsibility?”
The current and previous presidential administrations along with the Veterans Administration (VA) and its leadership can all be blamed for the very long delay. The American Civil Liberties Union of Sothern California has file a lawsuit claiming that the VA has been derelict in its duties.
Progress in developing housing has been slow. According to Congressman Henry Waxman, who himself is also under criticism, he helped get $200 million to renovate a building on the property but that building is not scheduled to be dedicated until August 2014.
In a city where an estimated 8,000 homeless men and women spend the night on the streets, some advocates are pushing to create a tent city on the land. And,
“At this rate, the country will be well on its way out of Afghanistan before it will have built a single housing unit for homeless veterans in Los Angeles.”