Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, commanding general of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region/Military District of Washington; and Col. Michael Greenberg, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander, met with residents to hear about privatized housing conditions and issues on Fort Belvoir, with much of the night’s discussion focused on communications and protocols.
Jones reaffirmed the Army’s commitment to improving housing, explaining the Army has taken positive steps to identify and fix housing problems in order to ensure Soldiers and their Families have the quality of life they expect while serving our nation.
With the residents expressing frustration with many issues, Jones pointed to improving communication.
“The teams here – both Clark and garrison: we’ve got to be clear, consistent and transparent,” said Jones.
Greenberg told the residents who attended that Clark Assets Management has created a 46-item checklist to inspect homes for life, health and safety issues. Upcoming life, health and safety inspections will result in a written report for residents.
At a similar forum in May, a resident highlighted how poor insulation froze washroom pipes in the winter. As a result, engineers have checked the houses, and identified 166 homes affected. Greenberg said insulation improvements are starting and he expects all affected homes to be worked on before freezing weather returns.
More money has been allocated for playground resurfacing. Repairs can be difficult, because many playground equipment companies do not routinely make spare parts.
Housing Management Update
Alex Rhoads, with Clark Company, updated families on renovating and replacing windows, but with 160 of the homes on post designated as ‘historic,’ those plans had to first be approved by Virginia.
“Virginia was real particular about letting us do anything with windows,” noted Rhoads. “About 25% we can rehab; and 75% need to be replaced. Due to the nature of the work – lead mitigation – we only do that when families move out. It’s very specialized work by a third party,” he said, adding the third party is staffed to work on five homes at once.
“We’ll continue to dialogue on that,” said Greenberg. “We have to ensure it makes sense and we owe you an answer at the next town hall.”
One resident, Cassandra Jedding, expressed frustration with communication and a seeming lack of standardized procedures.
“We talk about quality control a lot. I have had a bathroom remediated twice (for mold), because contractors did not do it properly the first time. Where is the quality control? I don’t see it,” Jedding said.
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