VA Puts Maintenance Backlog at $22 Billion

By By Dan Hounsell
March 12, 2021

RozenskiP /

The nation’s K-12 school districts for decades have been the high-profile face of deferred maintenance in institutional and commercial facilities as they struggle with hundreds of billions of dollars in overdue repairs and upgrades. A lack of public funds is at the center of the struggle for schools, and that dynamic also is plaguing an equally high-profile facilities sector.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a growing maintenance backlog at its facilities, a problem that’s only gotten worse as the agency struggles to balance everyday upkeep with an ongoing need to completely modernize some facilities for a new era, according to the Federal News Network.

The department grades each facility’s core systems and assesses the cost of those deficiencies every three years. According to its own estimates, it would take at least $22 billion to address poor or failing conditions at VA facilities, the department told a House appropriations subcommittee at a hearing on its infrastructure challenges recently.

VA’s buildings are, on average, 60 years old, and 69 percent of the department’s main hospitals are at least 50 years old. According to the department’s estimates, VA needs anywhere from $49 billion to $59 billion to tackle the major and minor construction projects it has identified to date as part of its long-range capital action plan.

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Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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