By Patrick YoungOctober 17, 2019
Community members got an opportunity to learn about ongoing efforts addressing housing concerns on Fort Stewart during a town hall Oct. 9 at Fort Stewart's Main Post Chapel.
Hosted by 3rd Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto with the support from Fort Stewart garrison staff and Balfour Beatty Communities, the event was live streamed on the garrison's Facebook, www.facebook.com/FortStewartHunterArmyAirfield.
Aguto opened the event, noting the installation's housing concerns are important and called for residents to continue providing feedback because it is an important part of the process.
Fort Stewart Deputy Garrison Commander Wesley Leisinger reiterated the need for feedback and showed how the 2019 Housing Resident Survey, despite low participation, provided assistance in developing results. He said three areas of concerns identified in the survey included appliances, landscaping and recreation areas.
He said broken appliances needing replacement, would be upgraded with new appliances - not just repaired models. He said for landscaping, the installation switched to a new landscaper and performs more quality control inspections to ensure progress is being made. He said empty houses would be put on a list for care to ensure they are move-in ready. For the recreation areas he said the installation is in the process of removing some of the older legacy playgrounds, re-mulching and pressure washing the sites and looking at expanding dog parks.
Leisinger said in the last six to eight months, installation and unit leadership conducted visits to each home. They also looked at the Interactive Customer Evaluation and Facebook comments and followed up to develop work orders. He said the installation developed 1,000 work orders to address those concerns, and responded to each of them.
He said another quality assurance mechanism started in March is the Directorate of Public Work's government housing office.
"This is our residential community's initiative," Leisinger said referring to DPW government housing. "These are government employees - so they work for the garrison. They work for you guys. They are your advocates. They will provide oversight for the BBC contract."
The office would follow-up on work orders and provide quality control inspections. Since March, the installation has conducted nearly 500 change of residency inspections. He said of those, only five fell short. And they found other homes for those customers.
Leisinger said they've also conducted 982 life, health and safety inspections, with another 400 regular work orders.
"The garrison specially monitors this process on a weekly basis" he said. "Looking for trends and staying on track." He said the team also follows up on each work order to sure they are to satisfaction.
Fort Stewart Family Home's community manager, Cheryl Sutton, followed and provided information about BBC efforts to improve the quality of living on Fort Stewart.
She noted additional staff has been hired and promoted the BBC app, Rent Café. She said the app could be used to initiate and track work orders or learn about housing events and activities.
She said one of the upgrades BBC was planning was installing cordless blinds, noting funding was just approved for the project.
Community members were reminded the work order process has three categories routine work orders would be responded to within 48 hours; urgent work orders within four hours, and emergencies within 30 minutes.
The work order management number at Fort Stewart is 408-2467. The 24-hour maintenance number is 408-2466. The work order management and maintenance number at Hunter is 459-2147. Hunter Family Homes is 459-2133.
Community members are encouraged to contact their housing representatives first, but if they feel something isn't being addressed by the local or regional levels, they have another venue. The hotline phone number is 767-5770. The email hotline is email@example.com.
Before closing out, community members were informed of another survey that would be released in November by CEL and Associates. Like the last one, community member's feedback can help the installation efforts in improving their quality of life.