The Veterans Affairs Administration is spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars every year to maintain hundreds of buildings – most of them vacant – that have fallen into such a state of disrepair that many of them are considered health hazards, an investigation by FoxNews.com reveals.
Exactly how much it costs to maintain the run-down and abandoned buildings is a matter of dispute. The General Accountability Office estimates that the VA has spent $175 million every year since 2007. But the VA disputes that figure, saying it spent $85 million on the buildings in 2007 and only $37 million last year.
WATCH: SLIDESHOW OF DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS
Whatever the figure, the timing couldn’t be worse for the VA, as tens of thousands of American troops, many of whom have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, prepare to return to the U.S. and will require the expensive medical, psychological and support services it provides.
From Augusta, Ga., to Menlo Park, Calif., from Milwaukee, Wis., to Perry Point, Md., the VA maintains 5,507 buildings across the country. But as many as 314 of them are currently vacant — and they require huge outlays of money just to remain standing.