September 29, 2016
Press Release


Washington - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama signing into law H.R. 5936, the Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act of 2016. The law--authored by Congressman Lieu and Congressman Jeff Miller--authorizes the VA Secretary to enter into leases at the West Los Angeles VA to provide for permanent supportive housing and services including legal representation, spiritual enrichment, vocational training, addiction treatment and recreational opportunities.

Upon President Obama’s signature, Mr. Lieu issued the following statement:

"I am extremely grateful that President Obama signed this important legislation for Veterans into law today.  This is a significant first step and now we must complete the mission by revitalizing the West Los Angeles VA to make it a truly Veteran-centric campus.  With the leasing tools provided in the legislation, our existing coalition can now work to create a thriving campus of respect and healing for our nation’s heroes and build 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless Veterans.  We cannot solve the issue of Veterans homelessness in America without solving it in Los Angeles County.

“Today's success is a collective victory of countless individuals and groups, including VA Secretary Bob McDonald and Special Assistant Vince Kane, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee Chair Johnny Isakson, and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller.  I also want to give special recognition to Representative Mark Takano, acting Ranking Member of the House VA Committee, who helped navigate our bill through the House.  The efforts on the ground included a collective of Veterans, Veteran Service Organizations, local elected officials, community members, providers, the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles. None of this could even have been possible had it not been for the courage and dedication of Veteran plaintiffs; Bobby Shriver; the ACLU; Public Counsel; the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson and their subject matter expert Dr. Jonathan Sherin. 

“Today we are handed a precious opportunity.  We must rededicate ourselves to caring for our nation's Veterans so that every day can be Veterans Day in Los Angeles County.”

Upon President Obama’s signature, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:

"The legislation signed today by President Obama will change the lives of Veterans in our city. The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Master Plan is critical to ensuring that people who have worn our nation’s uniform get the housing and supportive services they need. It breathes new life into the West L.A. VA campus, and will create a supportive space where veterans can receive the care and attention they deserve.

“This Master Plan calls for 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing on the campus, which will support chronically homeless, aging and disabled veterans — as well as female survivors of military sexual trauma.  I will not stop fighting until Los Angeles ends chronic homelessness among our veterans once and for all, and want to thank Representatives Ted Lieu, Jeff Miller, and Mark Takano, and Senators Dianne Feinstein, Johnny Isakson, and Richard Blumenthal for their leadership."