FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The high level of participation in the latest housing walking town hall thrilled Fort Rucker leadership, and also helped some residents get fixes for their issues scheduled right then and there.
Maj. Gen. David J. Francis, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, led USAACE, garrison and Corvias leadership through the Munson Heights neighborhood Feb. 23 in an ongoing effort to bring leadership into the areas where people live to get feedback on people’s experiences living on post.
The effort paid off big time, the general said, adding that participation was the highest since the walking town halls began last year.
“I’m very happy about that – the response from the community was great,” Francis said. “This is all about making sure that our Soldiers and our families have a safe, great place to live. These walking town halls help us to see for ourselves how things are going. If people bring problems to our attention, we can get after them immediately.”
This town hall was held as a result of feedback received from the Feb. 10 walking town hall through Allen Heights, according to Col. Robert J. Holcombe, Fort Rucker garrison commander.
“This town hall was out of sequence because we came out here to look at a specific issue that we had heard was a system-wide problem in an area of Munson Heights,” he said, adding that the issue was plumbing backing up in a number of homes in one area.
“The great news is that what we found out on the ground is that most of the issues had already been resolved,” Holcombe added. “It was well worth coming here, checking on things and verifying everything was taken care of.
“What we don’t want is for residents to have an issue and no one’s hearing them, or complaining about problems and it’s somehow not reaching leadership,” he said. “Corvias are great partners and really good at what they do, but there’s no substitute for walking through and talking to residents one on one – that’s why we do these town halls.”
While some problems were brought up – a pest control issue, standing water in a backyard and an unsafe storm drain – most of the comments were of a positive nature on the on-post living experience, Francis said, adding that Corvias officials immediately took action to begin fixing the issues brought to the group’s attention.
“It’s great that our housing partner, Corvias, is getting a lot of good reviews on their responsiveness and the effectiveness of what they’re doing for people,” Francis said. “There are always some exceptions to that, but for the most part people seem happy with their homes and the services they receive.
“Most of the residents we spoke to said they love living here, and that it’s a great place for their kids to grow up and be able to play outside and not have security concerns – those sorts of things,” he added. “We received overwhelmingly positive reactions this evening.”
The healthy amount of feedback from this walking town hall helps fuel the desire to keep them going, Francis said.
“This will be an ongoing effort that will never stop – we have to make sure that we maintain visibility on the condition of our housing,” the general said. “We have different sections of housing built in different time periods at Fort Rucker. I think it’s important for us to stay in touch with our residents and make sure that we’re doing the things we need to do to make this a great place to live."
Francis also thanked the Corvias team, and “all of our Soldiers and families who live, play and work here on Fort Rucker.”
Residents don’t have to wait for a walking town hall to get help with any housing issues that crop up, Holcombe added.
“Corvias should always be people’s first stop whenever they have an issue with their home,” he said. “But if residents get to the point where their issue isn’t being resolved, call the housing office in Bldg. 5700 (255-9230). We’ll work it from there because we represent the Soldier in the relationship – they can always come to us for help.”