By Kari Hawkins, Army Materiel CommandJanuary 16, 2020
Nearly a year after assuming responsibility for all Army housing, Army Materiel Command will host a comprehensive review of the reforms and improvements made across the enterprise to ensure Soldiers and Families have access to high quality on-post housing.
During a Housing Summit set for the week at AMC Headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., representatives of the Army's seven privatized housing companies and Army leaders from 60 installations will review strategies and programs.
"We are absolutely committed to provide safe and secure housing on every installation, and making every installation an installation of choice for our Soldiers and Families," said Gen. Gus Perna, AMC commander. "The summit is another step in our commitment to hold ourselves and privatized housing companies accountable to provide a high-quality standard of living and to earn back the trust of our housing residents."
"The steps we took in the spring and summer improved our visibility of the housing landscape and allowed us to lay out a way ahead for course correction," Perna said.
2019 significant initiatives:
• Hiring more than 100 additional staff at installation housing offices to provide quality assurance and control checks on work being done in homes, with the goal to have 100% of homes between occupancies, 100% of life, health and safety work orders and 5% of all work orders checked;
• Revising the incentive fee structure with the housing companies to better account for resident and installation leadership feedback;
• Providing full access for Garrison commanders to housing work orders so they can execute the quality control measures needed to ensure issues are properly fixed the first time;
• Creating mobile apps as an additional method for residents to submit and track work orders;
• Establishing a Housing Environmental Health Response Registry through the Army Medical Command to address housing health or safety concerns;
• Senior Army leaders meeting regularly with RCI company executives to review housing properties and provide oversight.
The Army also joined the Air Force and Navy to develop a Resident Bill of Rights, expected to be signed later this month that will empower Service members and their Families to hold housing providers accountable.
While the initiatives have yielded progress and improvements, Perna said it will take time to rebuild relationships with housing residents and develop a strategy to ensure quality reinvestment.