By Ms. Jessica Marie Ryan (IMCOM Europe)September 19, 2019
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- By embodying U.S. Army Garrison Benelux's motto "We Deliver!," the Housing Office is dedicated to enhancing residents' quality of life in U.S. Army leased housing, to include family housing and the single service member quarters or the barracks.
One way of ensuring quality of life is building transparency in communication from the beginning. During in-processing, residents in U.S. Army leased housing are well-informed on processes such as submitting work order requests, contacting Centralized Furniture Management Office for loaner furniture and appliances and obtaining equipment from the Self-Help Stores across the garrison.
Communication does not end at in-processing. Garrison leaders are committed to maintaining an open line of communication by listening to residents' feedback and finding solutions year-round.
In 2019, the garrison hosted three town halls. The garrison commander also established a 24/7 housing hotline in early February.
In the barracks, garrison leaders and designated barracks leaders conduct regular meetings with residents.
In partnership with Public Affairs Office, the Housing Office also released an electronic newsletter to keep residents informed of current developments.
Based on the feedback provided at town halls and through the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system, the Housing Office also made the following changes this summer:
CASTEAU HOUSING AREA
The Housing Office staff initiated replacement of new sheds and installment of a new playground.
LENS HOUSING AREA
The Housing Office staff initiated replacement of new sheds and installment of a new playground. The backyard fencing was replaced with rigid fencing. Bushes in the backyards were removed and replaced with privacy panels.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed updates in both family housing areas.
SINGLE SERVICE MEMBER QUARTERS (BARRACKS) AT CHIÈVRES AIR BASE
The Housing Office staff made improvements to the rooms and communal areas. In the rooms, residents received "how-to" instructions on properly maintaining equipment such as kitchen fans and bathroom extractor fans.
All rooms were furnished with a bright red document holder, containing the latest barracks standard operating procedure, physical security plan, and directions for contacting the work order desk and Centralized Furniture Management Office.
All rooms now have an updated fire exit plan on their entrance door. The Housing Office staff upgraded equipment in the day room for the projector and sound system. The staff is also working on current projects for improving the barracks and the residents' safety and security. These projects include improving the internet speed, placing a covered bicycle rack, improving security with CCTV cameras and installing sensor-driven light fixtures for automatic lighting in the hallways and communal areas.
The Housing Office staff will continue to listen to residents' feedback so they can find solutions.
Residents are encouraged to communicate and build relationships with their neighbors such as building coordinators and floor managers in the barracks and area coordinators in family housing. Working together as a community will help enhance quality of life overall.
The next virtual town hall on U.S. Army leased housing is scheduled Dec. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. on the USAG Benelux's Facebook page.