WASHINGTON -- Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy and secretaries from the other military branches met Wednesday with senior executives from private housing companies to discuss ways to continue to improve housing for residents living on Army installations.
"While the Army is making positive steps forward, we must continue to improve in order to provide quality housing to our Soldiers and their families, including planning for future investments in Army housing," McCarthy said. McCarthy noted that since the last quarterly meeting held in October, the Army has finalized a new incentive fee structure with private housing companies that puts families first and holds companies accountable.
Meeting attendees discussed implementation of the housing provisions included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, including the dispute-resolution process, move in/move out procedures, development of a common lease agreement, and the public availability of home-maintenance histories. They also discussed the need to review the BAH process to ensure BAHs accurately reflect market costs in order to provide stability for families and the housing projects.
"We have made significant strides over the last year to provide quality, safe and secure housing, but we have more work to do," said Gen. Gus Perna, Army Materiel Command commander. "My vision is that every installation is a Soldier and family's number-one choice to be stationed. We are focused on investment and reinvestment strategies to ensure long-term viability and quality of housing."
Yesterday's meeting is the latest in a series of discussions where the Army and the private companies have united to review strategies, programs, reforms and improvements. Last month AMC hosted a housing summit at Redstone Arsenal, where Army leaders from 60 installations joined representatives from the seven privatized housing companies to assess improvements made across the enterprise to ensure Soldiers and their families have access to high-quality, on-post housing.
Cooperation between the Army and the private companies has led to significant initiatives to improve Army housing, including:
• The hiring of more than 100 additional staff at installation housing offices to provide quality assurance and control checks on work done in homes
• Allowing garrison commanders full access to work orders so they can ensure that issues are properly fixed the first time
• The creation of mobile apps as an additional way for residents to submit and track work orders
• The establishment a Housing Environmental Health Response Registry to address housing health or safety concerns
• Quarterly town hall meetings at every installation to hear residents' concerns
• 24-7 telephone housing hotlines at every installation
• Revisions to the Army Portfolio and Asset Management handbook, which provides updated guidance on the oversight and management of privatized Army homes
Executives in attendance included representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities, Clark Realty Capital, Corvias, Hunt Companies, Lendlease, Lincoln Military Housing and Michaels Military Housing.