Military Housing Reforms

Military Housing Reforms
  • There are 1,417,370 active duty military members in the US.
  • About 700,000 live in military housing.
  • A survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory network found that 55% of families had a negative view of military housing.
  • Families have reported mold, asbestos and vermin infestations.

Negotiators in Congress have finally agreed to a defense spending blueprint for 2020, and unlike previous budgets, this time, it includes reforms that will improve housing for military members.

A summary released by the negotiators says it is “the most substantial overhaul of the Privatized Military Housing Initiative since its creation in 1996.”

The blueprint includes setting up a tenant bill of rights that improves communication, sets minimum living standards, and bans the use of NDAs that stop residents from talking to people about poor living conditions.

A survey by the Military Family Advisory network revealed how unhappy many military families are with their housing situation That survey prompted a congressional hearing at the start of 2019. Many housing contractors swore they would improve housing situations and military leaders promised to work harder at addressing the problems.

Follow-up hearings held a week before Christmas showed that neither the contractors nor the leaders kept their word.

The new blueprint requires the Defense Department to make a move-out checklist. This helps to ensure that any problems from a previous family won’t affect the next family moving into the house. In addition, the military will now be required to work with local law enforcement to make sure military police can patrol housing that is off-base.

The bill is being sent to Congress for a vote.

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