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U.S. Navy Cracks Down on Privatized Housing Deficiencies

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Alleged mold infestation in Navy housing unit (Nicole Barnes / twitter)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-04-26 17:05:29

The U.S. Navy says that it is working hard to address servicemembers' complaints about privatized housing, especially those identified during the service's “100 percent Sailor contact” order and the completion of sailor-requested home visits.

In February, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson directed every shoreside command to contact every sailor residing in privatized or government housing to ask about their current living conditions and offer for leadership to conduct a home visit. As a result of the 100 percent contact, 17 percent of residents living in privatized family housing reported an issue with their residence, and five percent asked for a home visit by their chain of command. The visit request rate was much higher for privatized unacommpanied units - 14 percent - but just two percent for the Navy's government-run unaccompanied units. 

Based on the results of town hall meetings and home visits, the Navy found that the common issues in privatized family housing include poor workmanship, lack of follow-up, inconsistent customer service, addressing symptoms rather than the root cause of problems, and minimal or absent government oversight. The Navy has increased its efforts to hold housing operators accountable for timeliness benchmarks, customer service and measurement of resident satisfaction.

To speed up fixing the deficiencies, issues identified during command-level residence visits were entered into existing trouble call systems, as well as the enterprise military housing database. The Navy also has direct access to the property managers’ trouble call databases, and it is able to monitor trouble calls throughout the housing enterprise.

Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, the head of Navy Installations Command, warned housing providers not to try to suppress complaints. “Any perceived or real indication of retaliation or retribution associated with a resident voicing a concern will not be tolerated and will be immediately investigated,” Jackson said.