WASHINGTON -- Senior executives from seven companies that manage privatized housing on U.S. Army installations met with Army Secretary Dr. Mark Esper; General Mark Milley, Army Chief of Staff; and Daniel Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army, the Army's top-three senior leaders, at the Pentagon to discuss ways to fix immediate problems and deficiencies in military housing.
CEOs and senior executives from Balfour Beatty Communities, CRC Companies LLC, Corvias Military Living, Hunt Military Communities, Lincoln Military Housing, Lendlease Corp. and Michael's Military Housing -- whose companies manage roughly 87,000 units on more than 40 Army installations -- joined Dr. Esper days after he and other Army senior leaders observed living conditions at Fort Meade, Maryland.
In a letter from Feb. 15 signed by Dr. Esper, General Milley, and Sergeant Major Dailey, the leaders 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, and a number of immediate, mid-term and long-term initiatives were discussed. The CEOs agreed to work on a "Tenant Bill of Rights," suspend certain fees, and allow Soldiers to suspend their 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.
Last week, Esper, Milley and Dailey directed senior commanders 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.