Army Continues to Fix On-Post Housing
A newly released Army inspector general report found the service is taking several steps to improve privatized housing on its installations.
The secretary of the Army in February directed the Army IG to take a closer look at the effectiveness, responsiveness and quality of on-post housing after widespread reports of poor maintenance, black mold, pest infestations and other issues.
The report, which the Army released Sept. 5, found insufficient oversight, governance and synchronization to identify current housing challenges. Army IG teams also reported “general confusion and frustration regarding authorities granted to installation personnel” in managing oversight of the privatized housing program and dealing with the private housing companies.
The IG also found senior commanders and garrison staffs were inadequately trained, residents were unaware of feedback mechanisms at their disposal to identify housing issues, and families who spoke up about concerns experienced a perception of retribution, retaliation of reprisal from the housing companies.
Based on its findings, the IG submitted 20 recommendations to the Army. In a statement, Army officials said most of the recommendations are already being addressed.
The Army has added 114 employees to various installation housing staffs, established classes to further educate commanders, and leveraged existing property management portals to allow residents to track work order histories and maintenance issues, the service said.
Leaders also have established 24-7 hotlines at all installations, conducted housing satisfaction surveys and continues to work with the other services on a joint tenant bill of rights.
“This IG report—along with results from our recent housing surveys, town hall meetings and other feedback mechanisms—will be used to continue our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for our soldiers and their families," acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement.
Improving on-post housing, to include the barracks, is one of McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville’s top quality of life priorities, the leaders recently said.
Read the full IG report here.