VA Leases Land Meant for Disabled Vets to Oil Company and Other Private Businesses

Friday, June 10, 2011
(photo: Veterans Today)
Four veterans have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs over the use of a large VA campus in West Los Angeles.
The plaintiffs, aided by the American Civil Liberties Union and supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America, contend the VA has no business leasing 30% of the West LA facility to private companies. Among the uses of the campus:
·       Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Tumbleweed Transportation (a charter bus operator) use 10 acres for vehicle storage;
·       Marriott operates a laundry facility for nearby hotels;
·       Two and a half acres are given over to active oil wells;
·       Brentwood Private School uses 20 acres for sports; and
·       The Wadsworth Theater, originally constructed as an entertainment center for veterans, is operated by Richmark Entertainment for commercial productions which veterans must pay full price to attend.
The property was deeded to the government in 1888 specifically to house disabled veterans, argue the plaintiffs, which it did for almost 80 years. However, the VA got rid of permanent housing for disabled veterans, some of whom now sleep on nearby sidewalks.
It is estimated that Los Angeles has 8,200 homeless veterans—the largest such group in the country.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Gregory Valentini et al. v. Eric Shinseki (U.S. District Court, Central California)


Leave a comment