The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is spending millions of dollars maintaining abandoned, decrepit, and useless buildings. More than a few of these buildings have been condemned as health hazards. Yet every year, taxpayer money is spent to keep these structures standing.
Of the VA’s estimated 5,507 buildings, up to 314 of them are vacant. Contrary to what logic may dictate, it takes an extraordinary amount of money to keep these abandoned buildings standing. Just how much it takes is a point of contention. The VA reports only spending $85 million in maintenance on these buildings in 2007 and only $37 million in 2009. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) claims the figure is closer to $175 million per year since 2007.
Because many of the buildings may contain hazardous materials, the VA claims it will cost more to demolish the buildings than to sustain them. Selling the buildings isn’t a viable option either due to restrictions on VA lease agreements and federal property guidelines. According to the VA, their hands are tied and they have to continue to pay to sustain these properties.
The VA released a statement claiming they are attempting to rid themselves of unnecessary property as quickly as possible. The VA continued to say that given the choice between providing patient care and demolishing buildings, the VA will always favor taking care of veterans.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.