FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Providing safe, quality on-post homes has been a top priority for Fort Campbell since the Army’s 2019 housing crisis, and senior leaders are looking for ways to more directly engage with residents and improve living conditions.
As part of that effort, Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell, and Col. Jeremy D. Bell, Fort Campbell garrison commander, led the installation’s first housing “walking” town hall on June 16 to speak with Hammond Heights residents about their experiences.
“The town hall was well-received,” said Ted Reece, chief, Housing Division, Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works. “We always strive for greater participation, and this event did engage more people than the last town hall.”
Previous housing forums were hosted quarterly at venues including Cole Park Commons and Wilson Theater, but Reece said they were often poorly attended and generated minimal feedback.
“Leadership was able to engage more residents where they live and play as opposed to Families coming to a central location,” he said. “We will have another town hall within the next 90 days, and perhaps link this engagement with a larger on-post event to increase participation.”
Families who took part said they appreciated having direct communication with leaders who can affect change in their community.
“It’s nice that they’re coming out and actually seeing what we’re seeing,” said Farrell White, Hammond Heights resident. “Hopefully this will help them make smart decisions about the future of housing on post.”
White has lived on the installation for nearly three years with her husband, Spc. Jacob White, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Abn, Div. They were among those impacted by partial ceiling collapses in two homes last year.
“We had some issues with the contractor who came out, but Campbell Crossing was great,” White said. “Maintenance has always been quick, and we haven’t had a lot of trouble living here.”
Noimi Soto, Hammond Heights resident, has lived on post since December 2020. She was glad to see senior leaders actively engaging with her Family and others in community about housing.
“It was a good experience, and it shows they care,” she said. “We talked about how long we’ve been here and if we’ve had any issues with housing. We had a question about ticks, so we asked if they were common here and it was helpful to talk about it.”
As residents offer feedback during future town halls, Campbell Crossing will continue to work with the Fort Campbell Housing Services Office and senior leaders to address any concerns.
“Town halls provide us an opportunity to listen and hear what challenges our residents may be facing,” said Karsten Haake, Campbell Crossing project director. “Alongside my director of operations and customer care manager, our goal is to address challenges raised, develop a solution and provide a positive experience for our residents.”
McGee also toured a New Hammond Heights prototype residence for the first time before the town hall. Campbell Crossing plans to fully renovate 170 homes in the community by fall 2023.
“We wanted him to get an idea of the renovations we’re planning for these homes, and the positive changes we can make to ensure we are providing homes our Soldiers and Families both desire and deserve,” Haake said. “Touring the prototype provided an opportunity for him to experience firsthand what the potential is for these homes.”
Wherever they live, Soldiers and Families can call the Housing Hotline at 270-956-4728 if they are having issues in their home and have been unable to work with their property manager.
“Whether one lives on or off post, our housing managers will meet with a Soldier and work with any private property manager to mediate a dispute,” Reece said. “When residents come forth with their concerns, it enables leadership to shape decisions and engage Campbell Crossing to seek improvements where needed.”