D.C.

Veterans refuse to move out of McDermott House

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The fight over an apartment building that houses veterans is heating up.

As ABC7 reported yesterday, veterans at the McDermott House in D.C. were being moved out. But no one could tell us why.

As D.C. Bureau Chief Sam Ford tells us, today many of the veterans refused to go.

Social workers, movers, program directors arrived this morning in several vehicles from the VA Medical Center to move them out.

On Monday of this week, they told the two dozen vets living at the McDermott House to be ready to leave by today. And they were here to move them to other facilities.

Some were compliant.

But it seems most of the vets are letting the deadline come and go. demanding to know why a program designed to help them is shutting down all of a sudden.

"I think we vets are being manipulated," one says. "We're being lied to."

VA spokeswoman Michelle Spivak, claimed the program's closing temporarily because the building is unsafe.

D.C. Housing, which owns it, told ABC7 again today there's no problem with the building. They also told that to Councilmember Jim Graham, who represents that part of D.C.

"The director of housing assures me that this building has no mold," Graham says.

When ABC7 came back and told the VA spokesperson what the city housing agency and the councilmember said, she would only say it's the truth that there is mold there, but wouldn't say more.

ABC7 saw four vets who left with the VA Medical center van today.

Graham said he thinks the vets' rights are being violated under D.C. housing law.

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