The VA Built Housing For Disabled Veterans. But A Federal Rule Is Locking Many Out

Veterans Affairs administrators and advocates are urging federal officials to change a rule that disqualifies some L.A.-area unhoused veterans from government-funded housing.

The rule has kept hundreds of unhoused veterans with serious disabilities — caused by their military service — from living in apartments on the sprawling 400-acre West L.A. Veterans Affairs campus. Federal housing officials have said their hands are legally tied.

The problem isn’t limited to just Los Angeles. VA officials told LAist that cities across California — and the country — are dealing with the same limitations. They include San Diego, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Reno, Portland, Seattle, Chicago and New Orleans.

The national problem stems from a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule that counts veterans’ federal disability stipends as income. That money, combined with Social Security, can put their income level just high enough to disqualify them from housing.

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