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NPR uncovers millions in rental deals at Los Angeles VA

Sep. 11, 2012 - 05:32PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The Veterans Affairs Department’s Los Angeles Medical Center has taken in at least $28 million over 12 years by renting out parts of its 387-acre campus for private uses, according to a http://www.npr.org/2012/09/10/160736598/los-angeles-va-has-made-millions-on-rental-deals">National Public Radio report Monday.

While VA is prohibited from leasing its land to private interests, it is able to “share” parcels if it helps meet its medical goals. Under such sharing agreements, the medical center allowed on its campus a UCLA baseball stadium, an athletic complex for a private school and parking lots for rental vehicles, according to NPR.

In a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of 11 disabled veterans, the American Civil Liberties Union said VA has profited from these arrangements even as it failed to meet the needs of homeless and disabled veterans by allowing facilities to be closed or repurposed, according to court documents reviewed by Federal Times.

VA announced in 2007 that it would convert three old buildings into veteran housing, but have yet to follow through, according to the NPR report.

VA did not respond to requests for comments.

While VA has not reported on how much money it has made through sharing agreements, NPR was able to piece together a range using a combination of long-term rental agreements and documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. It estimated the value of the agreements between $28 million and $40 million.

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