VICENZA, Italy (Sept. 4, 2019) - USAG Italy department of public works engineer Michelle Millers was one of more than 60 Army housing managers from installations around the world who traveled to San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 19-23, for the inaugural housing executive course hosted by Installation Management Command.

The week-long symposium offered more than 36 different classes focusing on traditional housing, privatized housing, unaccompanied housing and program management, with an emphasis on group discussions, demonstrations and hands-on learning opportunities.

"This was a wonderful opportunity for me to represent the Army in Italy and network with Army housing managers from all over the world! In the end, improving communication strategies was at the top of everyone's "To Do" list. For me specifically, I got good advice and points of contact as I will be managing the Army Family Housing Recapitalization in the Vicenza community, in the coming years," said Millers.

This housing manager training has been a year in the making. According to Millers, a big focus was the future of Army housing, especially in light of recent news reporting regarding the condition of housing and resident reactions.

"Unlike stateside, soldiers and their families face mandatory housing requirements in OCONUS assignments like Italy, and sometimes, that starts the housing/resident relationship off on a stressful note. We discussed action plan requirements for the recent Army Housing Survey and how to ensure residents know we are listening to their concerns, and the ways we can improve service to provide a better experience," said Millers.

According to Millers, both privatized Army housing in the continental U.S. and overseas have their unique challenges. Despite the differences, Army leadership considers them all serious, just the same. Good communication with residents is the key to improving housing.

"In the next six to seven years, we will be demolishing all 249 housing units on Villaggio and reconstructing 428 new units on Villaggio and 50 more on Ederle for a total of 478 housing units. It's an exciting time for Vicenza and it will take great effort, determination and some patience to get to the finish line," Millers said.

(Localized from IMCOM Public Affairs story dated Aug. 28, 2017)