Few people could have predicted the challenges caused by the pandemic. Despite the pressures and uncertainties, service members answered the call to serve each and every day. To support them, Military Housing Association (MHA) member companies and their staff worked tirelessly to provide essential housing services for service members and their families.
The MHA brought leading military housing providers together to strengthen the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) for current residents and generations of military families to come. MHA member companies quickly adjusted their operations to meet the demands of the new environment and worked hard to meet the needs of their tenants. This included taking steps to perform routine and emergency maintenance jobs without compromising the safety of residents or staff members, creating industry leading programs to improve services for residents, launching online resources to support military spouse employment, and investing in long-term home and community improvement projects.
Delivering Services During COVD-19. When COVID-19 struck in March, military housing providers acted quickly to implement operational safeguards and policy changes that prioritized the health and safety of residents and employees while also providing local resources to residents. For example, MHA member companies worked together and with military family advocates to help families during Permanent Change of Station (PCS) disruptions by providing short-term leases for those unable to move due to COVID restrictions. They also worked with the service branches to maintain readiness, using vacant housing units to quarantine troops prior to deployment.
Additionally, the MHA partnered with Blue Star Families and the Association of Defense Communities to sponsor the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative – a program providing insights into how the pandemic is affecting service members and resources to support military families through this challenging time.
Developing Best Practices & Industry Leading Services. Member companies utilized the forum facilitated by MHA to work with the DoD and military partners to develop best practices and industry-leading services to implement the Tenant Bill of Rights. Companies launched 7-year maintenance history pilot projects at installations across the country and continued developing a universal lease to simplify the leasing process.
New Home Construction, Renovations, and Other Improvements. Military housing providers announced major investments to renovate and improve thousands of military homes. These large-scale construction projects involve homes at installations like Fort Polk, Fort Lee, and Fort Sill. This is another example of how MHPI Public-Private Partnerships provide essential support to continue investing in the improvement of military communities.
Welcoming a New Member Company and Gen. John Campbell (U.S. Army – Ret.) as Senior Advisor. The MHA welcomed Louisiana-based Patrician Management – one of the first companies to participate in the MHPI in 2001 – as a new member company. The MHA also welcomed General John Campbell (U.S. Army – Ret.) as senior advisor. Gen. Campbell is a former privatized military housing resident, and now advises the MHA on processes and operational policies that will have a positive long-term impact on our service members and their families.
Expanding Online Resources. Military veterans and active-duty spouses can now use the MHA’s website to find career opportunities for a wide range of positions with military housing providers. The recently added Careers page on the MHA’s website is one of many new resources that aim to assist military spouses seeking employment opportunities or those wanting to learn more about the MHPI program.
Encouraging Resident Participation in the Tenant Satisfaction Survey. The MHA has been actively encouraging tenants to participate in this year’s Tenant Satisfaction Survey by urging all families living in privatized military housing to take the survey. Increased participation in the survey will give the Department of Defense and its MHPI partners the feedback and data they need to help identify priorities for improvement.
The MHA looks forward to building on the industry’s 2020 accomplishments by continuing to provide a forum for members to achieve their core goal – providing high-quality housing, community amenities and responsive property management services for service members and their families living in privatized military housing communities.