VA Planning to Recycle or Demolish All Its Vacant Structures in 24 Months; Freeze Current Footprint

Following through on a promise from Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin, the VA announced strategies to deal with all of its uninhabited buildings over the next 24 months. If it can’t sell, re-use or otherwise dispose of the home, it plans to knock them down and clear the website for something else.

The Secretary also announced that VA will evaluate another 784 non-vacant but underutilized structures to determine if they can be sold or re-used, with the savings reinvested in veterans’ services.

” Maintaining uninhabited buildings, including near 100 from the Revolutionary War and Civil War, makes no sense and we’re working as quickly as possible to get them out of our inventory,” Dr. Shulkin said. “We will overcome the legal requirements and policies for disposal and reuse and we will do it as swiftly as possible.”

In addition to the structure closures, Dr. Shulkin revealed that the Veterans Advantages Administration is freezing its footprint and will look to optimize its area management by leasing or removing workplace nationwide. The agency prepares to execute a robust telework program and work to digitize VA claim files.

The company estimates these actions will conserve taxpayers near to $23 million every year.


Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin

Dr. Shulkin raised the vacant structure problem as a top priority in his “State of the VA” address delivered at the White Home on May 31.

Nationwide, VA currently has 430 vacant or mainly uninhabited buildings that are on average more than 60 years of ages, and cost taxpayers more than $7 million each year in upkeep and other costs. The count consists of buildings that are less than 50% occupied.

For example a 70% vacant building still has 30% of the structure being utilized for some functions, however it is still considered a “uninhabited” building.

VA evaluations have actually identified home shortages of more than $18 billion, including structural seismic, electrical circulation and mechanical systems such as heating and ventilation.

Here are the 10 biggest residential or commercial properties affected by the brand-new VA effort:

Station Call– State– Use– Overall GSF– % Vacant– Year Constructed

New Orleans– LA– Hospital– 898,651 – 88%– 1952
Pittsburgh, Highland Drive– PA– Healthcare facility– 186,814– 100%– 1953
St Louis, John Cochran– MO– Other Institutional Usages– 136,841– 100%– 1965
Milwaukee– WI– Housing– 133,730– 98%– 1869
Pittsburgh, Highland Drive– PA– Workplace– 119,275– 100%– 1953
Pittsburgh, Highland Drive– PA– Health center– 101,945– 100%– 1953
Lyons– NJ– Dormitories/Barracks– 79,400– 100%– 1940
CAVHCS, Tuskegee– AL– Dormitories/Barracks– 75,048– 52%– 1936
Northport– NY– Healthcare facility– 74,125– 100%– 1927
CAVHCS, Tuskegee– AL– Other– 73,983– 78%– 1932

Of the total of 430 structures, VA has begun disposal or reuse processes on 71. Of the staying 359 buildings, Dr. Shulkin announced VA will start disposal or reuse procedures on another 71 in the next six months, and prepares to start disposal of the last 288 vacant buildings within 24 months.

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