The West LA Veterans Collective is a world class, locally-rooted, and mission-driven team with a deep history of Veteran-specific development and service provision. The Collective is led by U.S. Military Veterans—Ron Griffith, President and CEO of Century Housing (recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart), and Stephen Peck, CEO of U.S.VETS (recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal). Our team is deeply committed to the successful transition of military Veterans and their families through the provision of service-enriched housing that promotes recovery, wellness, and a more hopeful future.

The Origins of the Principal Development Team: Inspired by Judge Harry Pregerson

The late Judge Harry Pregerson was an iconic figure in Los Angeles. Born and raised in LA, Judge Pregerson was known for his lifelong dedication to serving others. As a wounded World War II Veteran, Judge Pregerson used the bench and his influence to support the needs of our community’s most vulnerable, including persons experiencing homelessness and our Veterans. Judge Pregerson was the founder of U.S.VETS and facilitated the creation of Century Housing Corporation. His legacy lives on in the work of our two organizations; we know he’d be incredibly proud of our involvement at the West LA VA campus.

West Los Angeles Veterans Collective

Century Housing

Century Housing Corporation is a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) supporting quality affordable home development throughout California.

Thomas Safran & Associates

Thomas Safran & Associates specializes in developing and managing high-quality properties – including market-rate and affordable housing.


U.S.VETS is dedicated to the successful transition of military Veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development, and comprehensive support.

Design & Planning Team

City Fabrick

City Fabrick is a nonprofit design studio reshaping underserved communities through collaborative public-interest design, planning, policy development, and advocacy.


KFA reshapes LA by designing great places where people flourish.


KPFF is committed to engineering opportunities that deliver excellence, empower creativity, support relationships, and nurture growth.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. Read more about the USVAHA here.

The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) is one of the largest health care facilities within the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California and Southern Nevada. VAGLAHS consists of two ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility, and 8 community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. There are 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area. VAGLAHS is affiliated with both UCLA School of Medicine and USC School of Medicine, as well as more than 45 colleges, universities, and vocational schools in 17 different medical, nursing, paramedical, and administrative programs. Read more about the VAGLAHS here.

Enhanced Use Lease

The Department of Veterans Affairs Enhanced-Use Lease Program (EUL) is an important component of both the VA’s mission to end Veteran homelessness and the department’s overall asset management program. Through this program, VA out-leases underutilized real estate under its jurisdiction or control to the private sector for up to 75 years for the purpose of developing supportive housing for homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. Through this innovative portfolio management tool, Veterans are provided with an expanded range of services that would not otherwise be available on medical center campuses.

The West Los Angeles Veterans Collective has been awarded an Enhanced Use Lease for various buildings and parcels within the West LA VA. Read more about it here.

General Questions

The West LA Veterans Collective (also called the Principal Developer Team) is a world class, locally rooted, and mission-driven team of three organizations: U.S.VETS, Century Housing, and Thomas Safran & Associates. Together, we have a deep history of Veteran-specific housing development and service provision. Two of the Collective’s organizations are led by U.S. Military Veterans—Ron Griffith, President and CEO of Century Housing (recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart), and Stephen Peck, CEO of U.S.VETS (recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal). Our team is deeply committed to successfully housing and caring for military Veterans and their families by developing a vibrant neighborhood on the North Campus of the West Los Angeles VA that promotes opportunity, wellness, community, and a more hopeful future.

The concept of a Principal Developer is considered a best practice to develop and maintain a cohesive community. Simply put, having fewer land and programming developers increases the ability to optimally coordinate the North Campus in working toward the same vision of a neighborhood replete with quality housing, amenities, and a comprehensive services model. Utilizing a Principal Developer holistically integrates multiple functions of the community, translating to the best quality of life for veterans and families living within the new community as well as those being served regionally.

Rather than continuing with individual Enhanced Use Leases (EUL) as initially employed, the VA engaged a Principal Developer (also called ‘The West Los Angeles Veterans Collective’) to approach the WLA Campus redevelopment holistically as a neighborhood and a community. The West Los Angeles Veterans Collective (WLAVC) was selected as the Principal Developer for the West Los Angeles VA North Campus in November 2018 pursuant to a competitive Request For Quote (RFQ) selection process.

The VA competitively selected The West Los Angeles Veterans Collective (WLAVC) team as Principal Developer, to work in conjunction with the VA to guide and facilitate the community’s development. This partnered work between VA and the Principal Developer team includes oversight of infrastructure and collaboration in community planning and service structure.

The WLAVC’s mandate is pursuant to the 2016 West Los Angeles Leasing Act and Enhanced Use Lease that governs our work aboard the North Campus of the West Los Angeles VA to undertake the sacred charge of restoring it for the care and housing of Veterans as envisioned in 1887. Not only will the housing help address the critical problem of the nearly 4,000 homeless Veterans on the streets of LA on any given night, it will also provide a range of services and amenities in addition to a vibrant, cohesive community that supports Veterans, and their families (both within housing and in the region).

Master Plan 2022 Questions

The VA’s Master Plan 2022 (MP22) is an update of the original 2016 Draft Master Plan, which is slated for update by the VA every 3 to 5 years. MP22 is a document that outlines in explicit detail the VA’s plan for campus redevelopment, including WLAVC’s proposed vision for the North Campus that draws on its considerable expertise in housing development. Working in concert with experts, designers, and urban planners, MP22 has been developed from research, prior planning efforts including the Draft Master Plan, necessary plan updates and extensive community input.

Leveraging the 2016 VA Draft Master Plan, the West Los Angeles Veterans Collective was tasked with community planning to support and guide the development of at least 900 additional units of supportive housing for homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families on the North Campus to reach the wider VA Master Plan’s broader goal of at least 1,200 homes. In addition to housing, this includes planning supportive services across a spectrum of Veteran, family and certified caretaker needs (both within housing and in the region), as well as urban planning to incorporate components such as enterprise and opportunities, plus the creation of a community structure with administrative oversight and consideration of resident and regional needs.

The original 2016 Draft Master plan has been influenced and impacted by a range of factors as planning and development have unfolded, necessitating updates from the previous draft to bring the plan to where it is today. These include:

  • Additional Veteran, partner, community, and VA engagement
  • Additional time to investigate site constraints and opportunities
  • Legislative and legal constraints
  • Financing requirements and constraints
  • Necessary infrastructure improvements
  • Historic opportunities and constraints
  • Land use considerations to engage and insulate
  • Neighborhood constraints and opportunities
  • Environmental considerations
  • Progressive timelines (i.e., action-oriented challenges, funding commitments, plan reviews, due diligence performed on Phase 1 developments)

Housing Development

Veterans of all backgrounds and service eras will be housed to include specialized supportive housing for subpopulations at increased risk of homelessness such as: Senior Veterans, women Veterans, LGBTQ Veterans, Veteran families, single-parent Veteran families, Iraq/Afghanistan era Veterans, chronically homeless Veterans, disabled Veterans, and Veterans who experienced Military Sexual Trauma and other injuries. Working with the VA and LAHSA, data regarding current community needs will be reviewed yearly and services for specific populations will be incorporated accordingly.

Any woman Veteran referred or presenting with a housing need will be assessed for housing on the West Los Angeles VA’s North Campus. Building 210 will include women Veterans transitional programming, serving women Veterans (including their children) who may have experienced Military Sexual Trauma or other residual challenges after service. Women Veteran-specific housing units with corresponding services are also envisioned. Additionally, U.S.VETS, the Collective team’s lead service provider will refer women Veterans from its Women’s ADVANCE transitional housing program in Long Beach and its Women Vets On Point (WVOP) support program.

If a Veteran is the head of the household and a full-time student, and to the extent the unit is financed with low-income housing tax credits, a Veteran will not be eligible for housing based on need. There are legislative efforts afoot to create opportunities for the inclusion of full-time Veteran students in low-income tax credit housing.

Thomas Safran Associates, Century Housing, and U.S.VETS are sharing responsibility for the development, management and operation of the community. All three organizations have a history of successfully constructing low-income housing in the Greater Los Angeles area. TSA headquarters is located within a 1/4 mile of the West Los Angeles VA Campus, and U.S.VETS and Century Housing have developed and managed the largest and most successful Veteran supportive community in CA at the Villages at Cabrillo in Long Beach: www.centuryvillages.org

As of October 2021, 180 supportive homes are under development and expected to be completed by the fall of 2022. By late next year, an additional 380 supportive homes are expected to break ground. Several factors have slowed the process of development. There have been definite challenges to the speedy completion of housing by a range of constraints in planning and development that have unfolded, including:

  • Legislative constraints
  • Legal constraints
  • Financing constraints
  • Infrastructure constraints
  • Historic constraints
  • Land use constraints
  • Neighborhood constraints
  • Environmental constraints
  • Progress constraints (i.e., funding commitments, plan reviews, due diligence performed on Phase 1 developments)

The above types of challenges have impacted development timelines. Consider for instance, when thinking about infrastructure constraints, the West Los Angeles VA Campus’s wet and dry utilities are aged and must be updated to meet current seismic and other housing codes. There is significant preparation that must be conducted with each parcel of land to be developed or existing building, whether it be relocation of existing operations, addressing seismic needs, or relocating utilities that may conflict with development plans. To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), VA also had to complete extensive studies of the possible environmental, historic, and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed redevelopment and alternatives.

Housing development will be completed in phases. This is due to the challenge of coordinating infrastructure (as touched on above) to support the developments as well as the logistics involved with relocating currently occupied administrative and medical buildings on the North Campus. The first housing units for homeless Veterans 62 and older and their family members/caretakers in Building 207 are anticipated to be completed in Fall of 2022. Please see more about the development status below.

  • Building 209, currently operated by the Shangri-La team, opened in June 2017 with 54 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless Veterans
  • Buildings 205 and 208 (120 units) are under re-development with delivery anticipated during the 4th Quarter of 2022 by the Shangri-La Team
  • Building 207 (60 units, see below) will be the first to be re-developed by the WLAVC, with delivery anticipated in the 4th Quarter of 2022
  • New construction (150 units) on MacArthur Field is currently in the planning stages by the Core Walsh Team with ground-breaking anticipated in the 4th Quarter of 2022
  • New construction (73 units) on Parking Lot 48 (Building 404) is currently in the planning stages by the Century Team with ground-breaking anticipated in the 4th Quarter of 2024
  • New construction (120 units) on Parking Lot 38 (Building 402) is currently in the planning stages by Thomas Safran & Associates with ground-breaking anticipated in the 4th Quarter of 2024
  • The WLAVC is responsible for developing the balance of the minimum 1,200 units of housing called for by the Master Plan, and for integrating all the housing and other services on the North Campus into a cohesive, vibrant, and welcoming community. It should be noted that Master Plan 2022 calls for the creation of 1,694 total housing units on the North Campus, inclusive of those projects noted above (from other developers

Building 207 will have 60 total units: Fifty-nine (59) units for homeless and at-risk Veterans and one (1) manager’s unit. The building is intended for Veterans 62 and older, family members and certified caretakers.

The City of Los Angeles awarded $8.2M of HHH funds to Building 207. The County awarded $5.75M of No Place Like Home funds and project-based Section 8 vouchers.

Estimated completion time for all units of housing is projected to be over the next ten plus years. Los Angeles is amid a housing crisis that disproportionately affects the Veteran community. The most recent 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Point in Time (PIT) count identified nearly 4,000 homeless Veterans in Los Angeles County, and it’s clear that permanent supportive housing for our Veterans is desperately needed throughout the County. The redevelopment of the West LA VA Campus offers Los Angeles a unique opportunity to significantly address this need. The creation of a thriving community on the North Campus will require a long-term vision and years of effort. Development of this community will be phased over time to minimize impacts, leverage infrastructure investment, and concentrate the residents around available services. Each individual housing development will be designed, financed, and constructed independently but coordinated within the broader community on the campus. The development of supportive housing is subject to many constraints. This includes the availability of highly competitive public financing (local, state, and federal) and private philanthropy.

Building height on the North Campus will be consistent with the heights of existing buildings, no taller.

The WLAVC embraces the historic fabric of the North Campus. Our planning preserves and enhances the site’s heritage while also seeking to expedite overall housing delivery. Community planning focuses on historic structures and landscapes while developing a Veteran-serving neighborhood. Mitigation measures will be required and agreed to with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) if there is an impact to a historic structure.

The WLAVC envisions a harmonious balance of adaptive reuse of existing structures and new construction on the North Campus.

The WLAVC and VA will upgrade utility infrastructure as required and committed to for the new housing in the final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) document.

That is still being determined. In conjunction with the VA, the WLAVC continues to evaluate the existing utility systems, future needs, and associated costs of the required infrastructure improvements with VA.

Infrastructure costs are typical for affordable housing development in an urban environment. The WLAVC continues to evaluate the existing utility systems, future needs, and associated costs with VA. VA and WLAVC will work together to identify potential funding sources that may include some VA funding to cover the cost of extraordinary infrastructure needs that would not typically be incurred for an affordable housing project. The initial phase of dry infrastructure is 95% complete as of the Spring of 2022. This involves the dry utility trunkline which involves electric, telecommunications, and gas.

Thomas Safran and Associates is a well-known for-profit developer of housing units in Southern California. During its 40-year history it has developed over 6,000 units of housing including affordable housing. Affordable housing developers assume the financial, construction and operations risk of creating and managing affordable housing. In exchange, both not-for-profit and for-profit affordable housing developers earn a developer fee which is prescribed and limited by the public funding agencies involved in each transaction (potentially including the City, County, and State).

The land beneath the housing will always belong to VA as the agency that was entrusted with the original land grant of 1887 for the care and housing of Veterans. VA is entering into enhanced use leases for the land with each housing developer which will own the buildings during the term of the ground lease.

No. Non-Veterans cannot move in and will never have the ability to per the original intent of the 1887 land grant to VA, which stipulates that the campus will only be utilized for the care and housing of Veterans. The only exception is family members and/ or caregivers of Veterans who are on the lease.

No. The housing is intended for Veterans who qualify for low-income permanent supportive housing. All housing created will be rental housing.

Tenants are selected based on their housing needs and other specific criteria, such as income level and disability status. Our overarching goal is to create a community of support where tenants with various needs and those with and without families are intermixed. One exception is our women Veterans-specific housing and programming in Building 210, which will house only women Veterans who desire a non-integrated living space.

Yes. Live-in aides will be accommodated. The aide will not be considered a household member and therefore their income will not be counted towards household income for the calculation of rent. However, a live-in aide will be counted towards occupancy standards and could qualify a Veteran household for a larger unit.

Yes. Veterans and their family members, including children will live on campus. Carefully planned family-focused supportive services will be offered for families and children by WLAVC and its partners.

Community Structure & Operations

The North Campus will consist of individual housing developments, supported by a 501c3 “backbone” association. The Backbone will have administrative oversight for community coordination and common areas. Each housing development will be responsible for its own property management; however, the Backbone will help to coordinate joint property management standards, whole-campus safety protocols, community-wide programming, and community upkeep in shared spaces. Utilizing a “Collective Impact” model, the Backbone will also convene campus stakeholders and service providers around the needs of the community via an expanded campus Veteran and community stakeholder Alliance (currently the Services Collaborative).

North Campus safety will be a partnered effort between individual housing development property managers, the Backbone organization, private security, VA Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. A Resident Council will also be established and hold regular community Town Hall meetings to assist residents and to gather feedback on campus safety. Safety and security will be carefully planned and monitored.

On-campus housing and services will be collaboratively planned to help ensure a safe, dignified community environment that will function independently, but in coordination with the other VA and partnered care and services provided on both the North and South areas of the West LA Campus and in coordination with the surrounding community. The development of this cohesive and vibrant community on the West LA VA Campus provides a tremendous opportunity to address Veteran homelessness on a large scale and to co-locate medically fragile Veterans with the health care and supportive services they need. It affords the West LA VA an opportunity to create a “gold standard” community for Veterans and Veteran families both on-campus and in the wider region. The Veterans Collective and its teams will be responsible for working with VA to coordinate and ensure delivery of supportive services to North Campus residents through available VA and other project-specific or third-party funding sources.

At any point where it is possible, it is our goal to hire Veterans and support Veteran vocational training. We have made good faith commitments to award a percentage of building trade and non-building trade subcontracts to SDVOSBs and VOSBs. In addition, we’ve committed to a best-efforts local hire policy, a pre-apprenticeship scholarship program for local Veteran residents, and transitional job and YouthBuild opportunities.

North Campus Services & Amenities

A continuum of services will be available on the North Campus, both for those residing in the housing units and for Veterans and families in the wider geographic area who are not living on the campus. For instance, each individual housing development is designed to serve Veterans and their families living onsite. Each individual building will have HUD/VASH case management onsite as well as dedicated services provided by U.S.VETS, the North Campus’s lead service provider. There will also be support provided from Building 300 (Integrated Services Center) and Building 13 (Town Hall) for wider regional service needs.

Building 300 will serve as the supportive service and wellbeing hub of the North Campus, centrally located near hundreds of supportive homes on the North Campus. This building is central to most of the housing, which is north of the CalVet home. Community planning has designated 15,000 SF of the building as support service space for a wide variety of services and amenities, including case managers, clinical services, VA professional staff, women Veterans services, non-clinical human services classes and groups, a Career Initiative center, transportation coordination, resources, a food bank, legal clinic, peer navigators from the County of Los Angeles, activities and events coordination, telehealth spaces and more.

There will be a computer room, barber and beauty and an exercise room in the building. The WLAVC’s community planning also contemplates a coffee shop in the main lobby, to the extent permitted by federal regulation. Within the expansive service space, a blended “one-stop” model for services (including those provided by U.S.VETS, non-profit partners, VA staff, and County services) will be carefully coordinated to result in the best outcomes for the Veterans and families living both onsite and offsite. Building 300 will also contain 44 permanent supportive housing units.

The Veteran Plaza will be defined by three key, interrelated components that together form the heart of the community. These are the North Campus Town Hall, surrounded by the Town Green, and the Town Square along with four new construction developments comprising more than 300 supportive homes and 90,000 square feet (about the area of a Manhattan city block) of services and amenities space. A welcoming atmosphere, the Veterans Plaza area incorporates meeting and socializing space, and green space as well as enterprise and service opportunities. In broad terms, the developments proposed in the Veterans Plaza area will contain a wealth of ground floor, flexible supportive service and neighborhood-serving amenity spaces. Subject to the requirements of federal statute, the Principal Developer plans to activate these spaces with neighborhood-serving uses that could include a restaurant and other neighborhood business amenities.

Centrally located within the Veterans Plaza area, Building 13 will serve as the Town Hall of the North Campus. Building 13 amenities will include: A Welcome Area, innovative Volunteers of America (VOA) Moral Injury program transitional housing in conjunction with the Wadsworth Chapel, administrative space, programmatic staff space, a canteen/grocery store facility, a fitness center, bike repair shop, reading area, catering kitchen, and the Grand Hall – a shared event space that will hold Resident Council meetings, campus assemblies, social opportunities, classes and presentations, holiday gatherings, celebrations and entertainment. Building 13 will also contain 25 permanent supportive housing units for those Veterans who would like to live in the Veterans Plaza.

Funding Needs

The housing is being financed via a mix of public housing funding, tax dollars, bonds, and private philanthropy. The Principal Developer anticipates leveraging the bulk of the housing development and construction amount with public funds dedicated to affordable housing. Public capital is generally available for the construction and rehabilitation elements of the project, but needs will be supplemented by private philanthropy to assure that we can create the best holistic community for our Veterans and their families.

The entire North Campus redevelopment is currently anticipated to cost more than $1 billion between planning, development, construction, rehabilitation, seismic and other code upgrades, utilities, water, and sewage, and other needs to bring it to physical operation. 88% of total funds are expected to come through public sources, including affordable housing grants, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and housing vouchers.

Private philanthropy and community investment will make up the final 13% of funds required across a range of needs that include but are not limited to behavioral health services, programming and amenities. Current estimates of philanthropic need sit at approximately $188.7 million dollars.

Yes. In certain cases, this could be cheaper but many of the buildings feature contributing elements to the historic district and cannot be torn down. We are taking care to retain historic buildings as required by California and Federal law.

VA is paying for several components of the redevelopment, including the contribution of the land/improvements on de minimis terms, funding extraordinary infrastructure costs and preparing the land parcels for turn-over to the WLA Veterans Collective.

Current Progress

Construction is well underway, and we’ve raised more than $95 million dollars for housing development to date. We’ve advocated for federal legislation, secured $20 million dollars of State funding, and have three new developments that are potentially poised to start next year pending competitive funding award.

Please see our current achievements list here. More information on our team’s efforts can be located here.

Potential barriers to rapid housing development include the availability and timing of public and private philanthropic funds. Permanent supportive housing projects require numerous public subsidies to be financially feasible. All these subsidies are highly competitive, are typically oversubscribed and are on different funding cycles. Housing on VA campus may depend on availability and timing of public subsidies from the County and/ or the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles has already substantially allocated its Proposition HHH funds. Future VA housing projects may apply to the County for allocations of No Place Like Home (NPLH) funds, to the extent available. Future projects are likely to be funded through the State HCD’s funding programs including IIG, AHSC, VHHP, MHP and others. More information on HCD’s funding programs can be found here: HCD Grants and Funding (ca.gov)

Community Planning & Engagement

Over the past three years, the WLAVC has connected with Veterans and community stakeholders to integrate feedback and suggestions that we’ve gathered during countless hours of outreach into our planning. We’ve communicated with individuals, groups and wider constituencies, plus kept legislators up to date about our community planning and our progress as part of the wider VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System (VAGLAHS) West Los Angeles Master Plan.

Efforts have included both initial and ongoing outreach via:

  • Informational listening sessions about the Community Plan with Veterans groups, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and all local, State and Federal representatives
  • Presenting about the Collective, community planning and our progress
  • Eliciting feedback from stakeholder groups both in-person and online
  • VA Campus “in-reach” to leadership and individual VA sections
  • Quarterly VA Town Hall Presentations
  • Ongoing participation in the monthly WLA VA Services Council (now VAGLAHS Community Partner Collective)
  • Quarterly County Veterans Homelessness Policy Meetings
  • Groups we’ve conducted outreach to include, but are not limited to:
  • Federal Veterans Community Oversight and Engagement Board (VCOEB)
  • Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN)
  • Community Veteran Engagement Board (CVEB)
  • L.A. Veterans Collaborative (LAVC)
  • Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council (MVAC)
  • Veteran & Family Service Providers
  • Housing Agencies & Alliances
  • Neighborhood & Homeowners Associations
  • Chambers of Commerce

Our community planning is informed and inspired by the original Draft Master Plan, including the incorporation of more than 1,000 pieces of community feedback captured in 2016 and feedback gathered since then via our comprehensive outreach. The Draft Master Plan update, including WLAVC’s community planning, is a continuation of the planning that’s taken place over the past 5 years consistent with the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016. The WLAVC’s community planning will be revisited regularly, including the continued solicitation of community feedback to ensure that our efforts are responsive and meet the needs of the Veteran community.

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