Recent investigative reporting and extensive complaints from military families indicate a crucial need for immediate, additional oversight of the private management of military housing. The CLMP Housing Division is proud to have worked with the families who testified on Capital Hill in February 2019 and to have submitted the following policy recommendations to Congress.
1. The term of each of the 50-year contracts between the DoD and each housing company should be reduced to encourage outside competition. Additionally, this would incentivize the housing companies to complete their required reporting which has not been completed for over two years.
2. In addition to financial reporting, quality reporting requirements within the contracts should be more robust and include yearly surveys of any active duty member living in military housing to be reported through their commands rather than through the housing companies.
3. A uniform lease should be created by the DoD to allow military families of every branch to better understand the terms of their lease as they move from one duty station to the next. With each new lease military families are faced with understanding new addendums, new terms, new deposits, and new fees. A uniform lease would provide more clarity on benefits and requirements of military housing as well as more accountability on behalf of the housing companies. (Any changes or additions to the lease required based on location, etc. should be routed and approved through the agency overseeing the contracts and not left to sole discretion of each housing company.)
4. Military families should receive their lease no later than 15 days prior to their move-in date.
5. Military families should be able to inspect their home no later than 15 days prior to their move-in date.
6. Military families should be allowed to easilywithhold their basic housing allowance through a newly created administrative process in any instance that a housing problem is not resolved within 3 attempts.
7. Military families need help with access to justice. They should be advised that they are entitled to all of the legal protections for tenants in the State in which they live and under applicable federal laws such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
8. A uniform military family tenant’s bill of rights should be created. This information should be included as an addendum to each lease executed by the housing companies.
9. No portion of the revenue of the housing companies should be tied to satisfaction surveys they conduct. This has only incentivized non-disclosure of pervasive housing issues to ensure receipt of payment.
10. Housing companies should not be able to unilaterally close a maintenance ticket. In order to be closed, a ticket should require the sign-off of tenants as well as housing maintenance staff.
Copyright © 2018 Center for Law and Military Policy - The CLMP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN - 83-1587085