By Payton Porter, GrafenwoehrMay 14, 2019
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- The U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Housing Division continues to introduce improvements to housing and housing services for their patrons.
In February, deficient living conditions across the Defense Department prompted top brass action resulting in six town halls across Bavaria to address housing problems and questions.
"We know that housing is often the top concern for incoming families and we want to be able to provide them with as much information as possible prior to their arrival," said Katy Hamako, Housing Management Assistant, USAG Bavaria Housing Division.
Since February, USAG Bavaria leadership have taken action. Faced with recurring problems identified and amplified at the town halls, housing has responded in kind, with proactive steps for present and future residents. For example, the housing office is producing a series of videos aimed at addressing a number of issues, particularly those faced by newcomers. The video series will be released in May 2019.
"In conjunction with [the Directorate of Public Works], we are creating instructional videos for housing," said Hamako. Video tours are also forthcoming.
"The housing division has been working hard to obtain new photos of our homes. We are also very excited that we will have video tours of some of our homes as well," said Hamako.
Another step is to involve the resident to take learn more about home ownership.
The housing division is embracing the use of social media as well.
"We have taken the most common issues that are brought up with work orders and explaining them in videos that will be placed on our garrison site, YouTube and our Facebook page. These videos will help newcomers learn how to operate things in their home," Hamako said.
More face-to-face time is now available to assist the service members and their Families.
"Last month we increased our newcomer's brief from 30 minutes to one hour. The extra 30 minutes is spent explaining to our service members what living in government quarters is like and gives them a brief run down on how living in Germany, and in particular a German house, is different from an American one," said Hamako.
Based on feedback, the housing division is better aligning its efforts with the needs of the community.
"We want our service members to feel confident and comfortable in their new homes and how to care for them," said Hamako.
The housing division, for example, has a uniformed Soldier actively assisting to improve the quality of life for the residents.
"Sgt. 1st. Class Warren L. Scheel has been an invaluable team member to USAG Bavaria Housing. He has been the lone 'green suiter' in the housing division. He has been responsible for the Area Coordinator program as well as many other additional duties," said Hamako.
Meeting U.S. Army obligations to provide safe, quality family housing are the priorities of USAG Bavaria's leadership. At present, all housing problems at USAG Bavaria impacting life, health and safety have been resolved or families relocated.