ARLINGTON, Va. -- Installation Management Command this month revised application procedures at its 44 stateside privatized housing facilities, providing residents with a "Bill of Rights" and a guarantee of superior customer service.

Army leaders made the changes as part of the Army Family Action Plan, following suggestions from Soldiers and families to make such procedures easier and more consistent.

Aside from promising to "wow" housing residents with improved service, the new rules clarify housing waiting-list procedures across regions for a less painful experience, said Donald Brannon and Curtis Savoy, program managers for the Army's public/private initiatives division.

"It's an agreement by all parties to apply standard procedures at the privatized facilities," said Brannon, noting that the Army had previously maintained no policy on applicant qualifications or waiting-list procedures.

The revisions would help not only established Army families, but also younger personnel less familiar with the system, said Curtis. "I think it's really helpful for the younger guys and gals coming in, and these procedures will be posted in the housing community, so the intent is to make them feel more comfortable."

Confused about procedure, too many Soldiers in the past had gone directly to the installation commander - or even their congressman - for help, according to Curtis. The rules now prescribe a much easier series of steps, "spelled out in black and white for all to see."

The Army now guarantees in its "Bill of Rights" excellent and timely customer service with "honest and straightforward communication," whereby Soldiers may expect to be treated with respect and professionalism.

With nearly 30 percent of Army families living on post, IMCOM intends to eventually offer 85,000 privatized housing units at domestic bases.