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The commanding general of Army Materiel Command said it’s time that housing issues reflect the Army directive of people first. “If we are going to say people are the number one priority, we have to demonstrate that,” said Gen. Edward Daly, after a series of Monday morning meetings with privatized, housing representatives and garrison leadership at The Villages at Belvoir Welcome Center.

“What you do each and every day is critically important. Hold us – the U.S. Army – accountable,” Daly said to representatives with the Belvoir Housing Advocacy Group, and several village mayors, who turned out to meet with him.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do here. I can’t tell you to trust us, because trust is only built on visibility of action, but I will tell you this: I am a thousand percent committed to continue to make significant progress on Fort Belvoir. Not just across Fort Belvoir, but across the Army,” Daly said.

Now 20 months after the Army prioritized housing issues that affect life, health and safety, and residents still report continued issues with mold, electrical and HVAC.

To increase communications between residents, garrison leadership and RCI partners, Fort Belvoir has instituted a mayor’s program, to have village-specific leadership speak on their behalf, and has hired an ombudsman, who mediates disputes between residents and property management.

Daly has been AMC commanding general just a few months, but he said he is well-versed in the issues at hand.

“I’m no stranger to Army Materiel Command, who is in charge of the housing, because I had been a deputy there for three years. I don’t want you think that I’m coming in to learn what’s going on; it’s crystal clear to me and that’s why I’m here,” Daly said. “Continue to be vocal; continue to hold us accountable; don’t let anyone silence you about taking care of our families.

“You have a great garrison command team that is committed to making this better. I spoke a couple times over the last couple months with (MDW Senior Commander) Gen. (Omar) Jones, the senior commander here, and we see it the same exact way. On behalf of the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army, thanks for what you’re doing,” Daly said.