The Department of Defense’s head Sustainment official testified before the House Appropriations Committee that military housing privatization dramatically improved family housing on military bases across the country:
Despite reports of poor conditions in some privatized military family housing across the continental United States — about 200,000 homes in all — the Military Housing Privatization Initiative was a good idea, the assistant secretary of defense for sustainment told lawmakers yesterday.
Robert McMahon said the initiative was focused on “improving the quality of on-base housing and providing the necessary long-term investment our personnel deserve.”
…In submitted testimony to the committee, McMahon said efforts are already being made to ameliorate the issues that have been raised.
“I am increasing the oversight my office provides to ensure the military departments fully and effectively exercise their responsibilities to ensure that privatized housing is managed in a manner protective of human health and the environment,” he said.
“This includes establishing new reporting requirements and programmatic reviews regarding military department monitoring of potential hazards in privatized housing, such as reporting on the number of child falls from windows in both privatized and military-operated housing,” McMahon said.
A “Resident Bill of Rights,” is the start of an increased effort by DOD and housing privatization partners to ensure military families have a positive experience in privatized housing, he said.
“Through increased engagement, we will better educate military families about their roles and responsibilities to help identify any issues with housing conditions, and the roles and responsibilities of the privatized partner and the installation housing teams,” McMahon said.
About 99 percent of military family housing in the United States has been privatized, he said, and the effort to do so has “dramatically improved the quality of on-base housing and has facilitated the long-term investment necessary to maintain high quality housing.”