California judge refuses to stop class-action lawsuit demanding housing for disabled veterans

WASHINGTON — A federal district court judge in California has refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs provide housing to thousands of disabled veterans living in encampments and on the streets of Los Angeles.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, in a ruling Thursday, described housing needs as urgent, stating the number of homeless veterans has tripled since an earlier lawsuit brought against the VA was settled in 2015 yet failed to yield adequate results.

“It is unclear how many veterans have died on the streets of Los Angeles in that time never having received housing or services,” Carter wrote in the Powers v. McDonough case, heard in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The judge ordered both sides to “expedite a timeline” and move the lawsuit forward. The case is expected to advance to trial if a settlement is not reached. The next hearing date is scheduled for January 2024.

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