LOS ANGELES -At least six senior veterans living in tiny homes on the West Los Angeles VA campus, and possibly more in other parts of the city, now have access to permanent housing thanks to a motion led by Councilwoman Traci Park and Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky.
The action, which the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed on Wednesday, addresses a bureaucratic obstacle that had disqualified certain disabled veterans, in spite of being homeless, from receiving housing as a result of their benefits exceeding the income restrictions for certain units.
Park became aware of these barriers at the opening of Building 207, a new permanent supportive housing project at the VA for 59 unhoused and at-risk veterans. After learning of this issue, Park and her team worked closely with the Housing Department, the VA, and the PSH developer to resolve the issue.
“These veterans are 100 percent disabled and 100 percent service-connected to the VA, and they are the very people who will benefit the most from living on campus, close to the VA hospital,” said Park. “Today’s motion showed that we cannot let bureaucratic technicalities bar veterans who gave everything to serve our nation from the opportunity to have a safe and stable home.”
By increasing income limits to account for veteran benefits, Wednesday’s action will allow more veterans to access desperately needed housing and services.
“The motion approved by the City Council will go a long way to ensuring that our most disabled Veterans can obtain permanent housing in HHH funded projects throughout the city and more specifically on West LA VA property,” said Dr. Steven Braverman, the Executive Director of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. “We appreciate the efforts of Councilmembers Park and Yaroslavsky to present this motion for passage by the City Council.”
“During my visit to the VA, I said that the words “homeless” and “veteran” should never go together in a sentence. I am proud of this motion because it puts those sentiments into action. Today is a huge win for our city, a win for progress, and most importantly, a win for the veterans who most need our help,” said Park.
The item now goes to the mayor for her signature.