U.S. District Judge David O. Carter has allowed a federal lawsuit in which 13 unhoused, disabled veterans and a nonprofit organization are suing the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for access to housing and healthcare to progress. The veterans are represented by Brown Goldstein & Levy’s Eve Hill and Evan Monod, along with a team of civil rights attorneys and advocates.
As reported by the LA Times, Judge Carter also found that the leases of portions of the VA’s West Los Angeles Campus to UCLA and a private school are not in compliance with the congressional requirement to “provide services that principally benefit veterans and their families.”
The complaint, filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on November 15, seeks an order giving the agency six months to create over 3,500 permanent supportive housing units for veterans with disabilities on or near the West Los Angeles VA campus. It also seeks to require the VA to ensure that portions of the campus currently leased to other entities are used primarily for veterans.
The lawsuit builds on promises the VA made in settling a 2011 case brought by 10 veterans with severe disabilities. The VA agreed to provide housing and supportive services for veterans, setting a goal of 770 units in by 2022. Seven years later, of the 770, only 54 housing units had been completed. The infrastructure needed for housing was not complete, nor had any work begun for the town center and socialization and recreation facilities. In addition, the VA continues to enter into noncompliant leases with entities that do not serve veterans.
“This a major, hard-fought victory,” partner Eve Hill said. “While there is still far to go to ensure the VA fulfills its promises to our nation’s heroes, I am pleased that we will get the opportunity to further this important case. I’m proud to stand with our clients and with all Americans who demand these veterans receive the supportive housing and healthcare they deserve.”
Read the Los Angeles Times article here.
Learn more about Eve Hill here.
Learn more about Evan Monod here.
Founded in 1982, Brown Goldstein & Levy is a law firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, with an office in Washington, D.C. The firm is nationally recognized in a wide variety of practice areas, including complex civil and commercial litigation, civil rights, health care, family law, and criminal defense. Above all else, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a client-centered law firm that brings decades of experience and passionate, effective advocacy to your fight for justice.