Homeless Veterans: VA Should Improve Reporting on the Benefits Provided by Leases of Unneeded Property
[Excerpt] Federal real property is on GAO’s high risk list partly because some agencies, like VA, have large amounts of underutilized or vacant space. In an effort to develop some of these unneeded properties, VA has worked with private partners to convert its unneeded space into supportive housing for veterans and other purposes using EULs. Congress included a provision in statute for GAO to review VA’s EUL program. This report examines: 1) VA’s authorities for managing unneeded property and providing homeless veteran housing; 2) VA’s internal control design for monitoring EULs and collecting accurate data; and 3) VA’s estimates of the financial effect of EULs. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed federal laws and VA guidance, and analyzed VA models for determining an EUL’s financial effect for two lease types: supportive housing and improved VA operations, since these two lease types had the greatest number of EULs. GAO reviewed two EULs from each lease type, selected based on the dollar amount of net benefits. GAO compared VA’s design of the EUL program’s internal control activities to federal standards and interviewed VA officials. Testing the effectiveness of VA’s internal controls was not within GAO’s scope.
veterans; Veterans Administration; VA; homelessness; housing; enhanced use leases