Belvoir Garrison brought a broad focus to this quarter’s Community Town Hall, Feb. 11, to discuss resident housing issues. Officials from Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region/Military District of Washington; Belvoir garrison; Installation Management and Army Materiel commands; Fort Belvoir Hospital; and housing partners updated residents on changes and ongoing improvements.
Focus groups still vital
Col. Michael Greenberg, Belvoir Garrison commander, noted communication about housing continues to rely on information from monthly focus groups, which have been meeting for a year.
He said one of the biggest initiatives over the last six months has been adding Garrison Quality Assurance teams, which perform checks on behalf of the government, confirming every potential issue has been inspected and resolved. He said the QA teams are driven by a rule:
• 100% of all life, health and safety issues. Work orders associated with those issues means a government quality assurance rep will check that work is done accordingly.
• 100% inspection of transitioning homes, which has been extended from eight to 15 days. When that home sees a complete turn, between tenants, garrison inspects those homes and ensures they are safe and secure for the next family.
• Residents from 5% of each day’s work orders are randomly called, and, if someone has a concern, the QA team will go out and look see what needs to be corrected.
Hygienist added to QA
“In the last three months, thanks to the surgeon general, AHC Public Health Center and the rest of the medical community, we’ve added a hygienist to ensure houses are suitable for living,” said Greenberg, adding the hygienist identifies the source of a problem and provides personalized education to the residents.
Additionally, Greenberg noted that some completed homes are reserved for displaced families.
“Six or eight months ago, we didn’t have vacant houses, because we were 99.6% occupied. As families came out of the house for (remediation), we knew the work would take more than one or two months,” he said.
Now … we’re making those homes available for displaced families … another initiative that has really helped us out,” he said.
Casey Nolan, with Clark, Belvoir’s private partner for housing, said the Michaels maintenance team is focused on getting it right, especially for families new to living on Belvoir.
“ … It’s taking a little longer to get those homes ready, but every single family that’s moving in today, we’re getting off on the right foot, and haven’t had any displaced residents out of the gate.
“We’ve done over 150 life, health and safety inspections, and the property management team is working on a preventative maintenance rollout, to tackle 100% of the homes over the course of 2020. It’s our goal to get into every single one of the houses and check them.
And, if you find an issue, we’re going to fix it,” he said.