Lawsuit seeks to speed housing on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Two former West Los Angeles VA Medical Center nursing students filed a lawsuit Wednesday to force the VA’s Los Angeles campus to develop high-density housing for disabled veterans.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims that the campus plans to bulldoze or knock down two existing buildings to build three new housing units to house disabled vets.
The suit claims that the VA’s current plan for the West Los Angeles hospital campus is “inadequate.”
“We are asking that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs take the property at issue and instead of bulldozing the buildings and moving them some where else build them into new housing,” attorney Peter D’Alton, one of the plaintiffs, said.
According to D’Alton, the VA’s current development plan leaves much of the campus in an “open-air’ condition on the western side of the 405 freeway.
“No one seems to notice they even have buildings or that it is open,” he said.
The West Los Angeles Campus site is currently zoned for single-family homes and commercial use. But the lawsuit claims that the VA intends to force the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Juan Capistrano to build the three remaining single-family homes and a commercial building.
“There is no question that we need new housing for our patients,” D’Alton said.
“We want to make sure the public is aware of the problems that we have at the VA hospital in Los Angeles and the need for housing,” said D’Alton.
The proposed plans would result in veterans having to travel between San Juan Capistrano and Los Angeles.
“We’ve been working hard with the VA to make it more affordable,” said attorney Charles Littler. “For 30 years there has been an issue of veterans being driven out of the area with no housing, and we still have no housing.”
The VA’s office of community affairs told 10News that the West Los Angeles VA Hospital campus was designed to accommodate all medical conditions and that the VA does not plan on changing the current development plan.
“The new plan is to ensure that the campus has sufficient space to provide the level of care that veterans