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Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Releases Draft Master Plan for West LA Campus - Public Comment Period Ends December 7

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

VA Greater Los Angeles has reached another critical milestone in its efforts to revitalize the West Los Angeles VA campus to better meet the needs of its Veterans. Today, VA released its preliminary draft Master Plan on schedule pursuant to the settlement reached in Valentini v. McDonald last January. Since that agreement, VA has worked with its contractors and community partners to engage the public and receive significant input from Veterans and stakeholders.

"This draft Master plan provides VA with a stronger foundation to build a 21st century health care campus and vibrant community for Veterans and their families," says VA Secretary Bob McDonald. "It also helps to ensure we will have the housing and healthcare resources needed to sustain the mission of helping end Veteran homelessness."

The intention for the new Master Plan is to determine and implement the most effective way to revitalize the campus for Veterans, particularly homeless Veterans, and underserved populations such as female Veterans, aging Veterans, and those who are severely physically or mentally disabled. This draft Master Plan reflects VA's goal to revive the campus in a Veteran focused manner, and includes a planning framework for significant and adequate levels of permanent supportive housing, time-limited "bridge," and transitional housing, with short-term treatment services that can provide state-of-the-art primary care, mental health, and addiction services to chronically homeless Veterans. The plan also identifies opportunities to enhance open space, confirms the goal to renovate and protect the historic nature of the campus, and targets infrastructure improvements needed for the campus.

To assist VA with the task of drafting the Master Plan, VA contracted with an urban planning team comprised of Hellmuth, Obata, Kassabaum Inc. (HOK), Walsh Group, and Core Companies. The team was vital to soliciting, receiving, and incorporating stakeholder and public feedback into the draft master plan and helping VA meet its aggressive timeline. VA also engaged the services of Jones Lang LaSalle to assist VA in this important initiative. "This is an important step in the right direction," remarks Vincent Kane, Advisor to the Secretary on Homelessness. "With this draft Master Plan, we are now in a better position to receive even more input from Veterans and the community about how this campus can better serve Veterans and their families."

The draft Master Plan now is available for public comment. This will provide Veterans and stakeholders an opportunity to provide additional feedback for 45 days following its posting. VA will also make links to the plan available online and in hard copies at local libraries throughout Greater Los Angeles, and will solicit input through further community engagement. At the end of the public comment period, VA will review the comments received, post summary responses in the Federal Register, ready the draft Master Plan for environmental and historic preservation review, and prepare a Final Master Plan for the West LA campus. As VA works towards achieving a Final Master Plan, options for implementing the plan over time will be carefully assessed, including from the Federal budgetary, legislative, and philanthropic perspectives.

The Master Plan represents a long term solution, but is only part of VA's effort, with the Los Angeles community, to end Veteran homelessness in LA and throughout the country. In addition to its daily outreach to connect homeless Veterans to services, benefits, and housing, VA, with community partners, will host a Veterans Stand Down on the West LA campus on November 4th and 5th, to provide onsite resources to homeless Veterans. As this master planning effort moves forward, VA's commitment and resolve to help end Veteran homelessness has never been stronger.

Public comment on the Master Plan ends on December 7th.

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