PROGRAM COMMENT FOR VACANT AND UNDERUTILIZED PROPERTIES
In 2018, the ACHP issued a Program Comment for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enabling it to proceed with certain undertakings following an expedited Section 106 review process that complements VA’s real property priorities in finding uses for its vacant and underutilized properties. The Program Comment is designed to facilitate VA’s reduction of vacant and underutilized properties in its real property portfolio and allow VA to redirect limited operations and maintenance staff and funding to those facilities supporting delivery of services and benefits to veterans. The Program Comment applies to the following categories of undertakings regarding management of VA’s vacant and underutilized properties (1) Enhanced-Use Leases and NHPA Section 111 Leases and Exchanges; (2) Sales, Transfers, Exchanges, and Conveyances; (3) Deconstruction and Demolition; and (4) Maintenance and repair of nonhistoric properties and utilitarian historic properties. The Program Comment will remain in effect until October 26, 2028.
The VA Program Comment promotes the rehabilitation and reuse of previously vacant and underutilized VA buildings, like those at the VA Montana Health Care System Fort Harrison Campus, which until recently lay vacant. In June 2019,VA reopened 11 quarters buildings that now include 40 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and at-risk veterans. (VA)
26 | IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021
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