A town hall meeting on the conditions in housing on Fort Hood has apparently already gotten results.
The meetings were held to hear feedback from soldiers and their families regarding issues they were experiencing in their barracks or family homes on post.
Fort Hood command and its housing partner, Lend Lease, have announced taking what they termed “concrete actions” to meet the obligation they have to provide Fort Hood’s on-post residents safe and quality housing.
Changes are being made in regards to housing maintenance procedures and responsibility on Fort Hood.
Lend Lease has committed to hire additional maintenance personnel as well as realigning its current maintenance workforce to focus more on expediting work orders. Additional personnel from the ‘ Directorate of Public Works will assist their Housing Department to provide oversight of maintenance efforts by Lend Lease as another example of immediate adjustments being made.
“Gaining and maintaining the trust of our Soldiers and their Families is a primary concern and ensuring their wellbeing is essential to maintaining our mission readiness,” said Col. Hank Perry, Fort Hood Garrison commander.
Beginning this week, and concluding no later than March 18, command teams across the installation will be visting all barracks and homes on post to ensure issues being reported are being taken care of.
Currently, there are just more than 1,100 work orders being worked through the system with less than 20 being categorized as pertaining to life, health or safety.
A statement issued by Ft Hood authorities says that action to correct those situations are being expedited.
Additionally, a 24-hour hotline has been established for emergency situations that need immediate leadership attention due to life, health or safety issues within the barracks or housing areas that could not be resolved through the normal work order process.
The Housing/Barracks Life/Health/Safety Leader Hotline is (254) 206-1157 which will be answered by the III Corps and Fort Hood Field Officer of the Day.
Housing issues throughout the military got high priority attention last week when senior executives from seven companies that manage privatized housing on army installations met with Army Secretary Dr Mark Esper, Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley and Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey to discuss ways to fix immediate problems and deficiencies in military housing.
In a letter the three leaders sent out February 15th, they wrote, “We are deeply troubled by the deficient housing conditions we personally observed at Fort Meade, and by the reports of similar conditions experienced by family members living in on-post housing across the Army. The situation is unacceptable, and we are failing our Soldiers and their families by not providing the quality housing they deserve. Our enduring obligation as Army leaders is to take care of our people — our Soldiers and their families.”
During the meeting, poor customer service was identified as a top issue.
The CEO’s of the companies involved agreed to work on a ” Tenant Bill of Rights”, suspend certain fees and allow soldiers to withhold rent payments if they believe that service is not satisfactory.
In addition, they made commitments to improve work-order transparency through an online tracking system, and to ensure sufficient numbers of trained staff are available at each installation to address housing problems in a timely manner.
Senior commanders were directed to immediately begin active monitoring of the condition of Army housing and barracks for health, safety and environmental issues of concern.
Senior commanders were also given 15 days to personally conduct town halls meetings, in collaboration with staff members from the privatized management companies, to give families a chance to voice housing concerns.
Furthermore, within the next 30 days, senior commanders must complete installation-wide housing inspections and report the results up through the chain of command.