Budget Keeps Veterans Homes Empty Despite Waiting Lists

Friday, July 06, 2012


California has just finished building two brand new nursing homes for veterans and has lots of empty beds in its six other facilities. It also has a list of more than 1,400 old, sick and disabled veterans who want to get in but can’t because of cuts in the state budget.

New homes in Fresno and Redding were scheduled to open earlier this year with a total of 450 beds but the budget Jerry Brown signed last week hacked their operating funds from $10.6 million to $4.2 million, so they will remain empty for at least another year.

The money allocated to the California Department of Veterans Affairs will allow for the hiring of administrative employees but isn’t enough to bring in residents.

The Fresno facility cost $158 million to build and and at least a quarter million dollars a year to maintain in its empty state.

There isn’t an official waiting list yet for the two facilities, but around 900 veterans have expressed interest in them. The largest veterans home, in Yountville, has 992 residents living in a facility built to house 1,377; it has a waiting list of 467.

A West Los Angeles facility was built two years ago but has yet to receive final certification as a nursing facility. It has 396 beds but only 83 residents and 70 ex-soldiers on its waiting list. In total, California veterans homes with 3,143 beds house 1,697 veterans.  

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

 Despite Waiting Lists, New Veterans Homes Sit Empty (by Aaron Glantz, The Bay Citizen)

California Department of Veterans Affairs (California State Auditor) (pdf)

Funds Approved for Fresno, Redding Vets Homes (by Ezra Romero, Fresno Bee)

State Took Too Long to Fund New Homes for Veterans (Fresno Bee editorial)

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