FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Above and beyond the ongoing renovations in the Munson
Heights and Allen Heights neighborhoods, Fort Rucker housing office and Corvias Military Living officials have improved key processes and hired additional people to enhance the on-post living experience.
But the quest to provide the best housing possible to Soldiers and family members continues, said Col. Whitney B. Gardner, Fort Rucker garrison commander.
“We’ve made great strides in improving Fort Rucker housing, but we’re not through,” Gardner said. “The Army housing and Corvias teams at Fort Rucker are committed to providing the best possible housing experience for Soldiers and families, and we’re constantly looking for ways to do better. We value the feedback we get from the people who call Fort Rucker home. Tell us what we’re doing right, tell us what we’re doing wrong – we want to know what you think.”
Improvements made include hiring two quality of assurance inspectors on the Army side to jointly look over homes in between occupants to ensure all the required work is done before they are turned over to a new family, according to Van Danford, Fort Rucker Directorate of Public Works Housing Office chief.
“Up until 2019, we didn’t do inspections with Corvias, and now we do 100% of them,” Danford said. “We also conduct life, safety and health inspections with Corvias. For example, if someone calls in and says they think they have mold in their house, we go with the Corvias staff. Many people seem to feel better when there is an Army representative present.”
Army housing representatives also make quality assurance check-in calls on 5% of all service orders for work in housing, the housing chief added. “If a work order was called in to fix a leaky faucet and they go out and fix it, we’ll follow-up and ask the resident how the work went.”
On the Corvias side of things, the company has spent more than $19 million in improving Fort Rucker housing over the past two years, according to Melissa Bryson, Corvias Fort Rucker operations director.
“Employee training has been enhanced with a focus on quality assurance of work in occupied homes and during change of occupancy maintenance,” Bryson said. “Twelve additional maintenance technicians were added to the Corvias Fort Rucker team, as well, allowing quicker response times on maintenance concerns. In addition, annual preventative maintenance has been broadened to reduce recurring problems.”
While the ongoing pandemic has certainly affected the ongoing renovations in Munson Heights and Allen Heights, both are progressing and the end is in sight, according to Bryson.
“The major renovation and modernization of over 100 original 1950s duplex homes in Munson Heights is progressing well,” she said. “This project is 60% complete, but we do have some residents in completed units enjoying the modern features of their new homes.
“The heating, ventilation and air conditioning duct replacements are under way in more than 500 Allen Heights homes with the project successfully eliminating duct condensation,” she said, adding that this project is 50% complete.
On the way later this year will be an Energy Consumption Project for all housing on Fort Rucker, “with homes envisioned to receive new LED light bulbs, smart thermostats, kitchen and bathroom sink water-efficient aerators, water-efficient showerheads and toilets,” Bryson said. “As a part of this project, the Allen Heights neighborhood is planned to receive new energy-efficient HVAC systems and weather-proofing of the home interiors, as well.”
These local moves are in addition to what the Army has done with its Tenant Bill of Rights and Plain Language Brief, available for viewing at https://home.army.mil/rucker/application/files/9115/9560/2706/Plain_Language_Brief_-_Resident_Bill_of_Rights.pdf.
All in all, Danford said homes on Fort Rucker are a good deal.
“They’re in good condition, they keep them in good condition – they’re clean, safe, adequate homes. It’s a gated community. Corvias provides great service and great amenities with the pools and the neighborhood centers, plus they provide grass cutting and pest control. To me, it’s a win-win to live on post.”
Bryson said she feels Fort Rucker housing is a good news story because “we consistently maintain a collaborative partnership with the local Army housing office and command,” she said. “We regularly discuss resident housing issues and concerns, and approach solutions together.”
She also thanked residents for choosing on-post living. “Please continue sharing feedback on how we can make your housing experience better. We want residents to know that together with the Army, we are genuinely committed to bringing our residents the best, high-quality housing, and continuing to make improvements. Our teams care about our residents and we appreciate you!”