As the Department’s Chief Housing Officer, I reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that military tenants receive quality housing and fair treatment from the Military Housing Privatization Initiative projects that operate and maintain privatized housing.
On February 25, the Secretary of Defense and the Service Secretaries issued the MHPI Tenant Bill of Rights that addressed 15 of the 18 rights set out in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The MHPI Tenant Bill of Rights expressed DoD’s commitment to provide the full benefit of the initial 15 rights by May 1, and to continue our efforts to provide the full benefits of the three remaining rights - access to maintenance history, process of dispute resolution, and withholding of rent until disputes are resolved – as soon as possible.
I am pleased to announce the first 14 rights in the MHPI Tenant Bill of Rights are available to Service Members and their families who are tenants of MHPI housing at the vast majority of installations. There are a few instances where an individual right may not be fully available initially at an installation; however, tenants will be made aware of this unique situation at the local level. In addition, given the present national health situation, I ask for your patience in the coming weeks as the department, including our military installations, and the MHPI projects gain proficiency in delivering these rights.
With respect to the 15th right (common forms and documents) and the remaining three rights – access to maintenance history, process for dispute resolution, and withholding of rent until disputes are resolved – the department has made significant progress working with the MHPI companies to resolve remaining challenges so that the benefits of these rights can be made available to tenants. The focus of the right #15 effort is on creating a universal lease with common terms and schedules applicable to all MHPI projects. Because this universal lease will include dispute resolution and rent segregation, once complete, this document will not only make right #15 fully available, but also two of the three remaining rights.
I will provide you an update on the status of these remaining rights in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns regarding MHPI housing, please continue to seek assistance through the installation housing office, installation leadership, or chain of command.
You have my commitment that expeditious implementation of the 18 MHPI Tenant rights set out in the FY 2020 NOAA remains my top priority, and that I will continue to do everything possible to enhance and sustain the overall tenant experience with MHPI housing.