Army Finalizes Incentive Plan for Companies to Fix Base Housing Problems

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Gen. Gus Perna, commander of Army Materiel Command
Gen. Gus Perna, commander of Army Materiel Command, discusses the status of Army Housing with representatives of the privatized companies that hold contracts to manage Army housing units at 44 U.S. installations, Jan. 14, 2020. (U.S. Army photo/Eben Boothby)

After a year of news highlighting the dismal conditions many military families experienced in base housing, the Army has finalized an incentive fee structure with the private companies that manage the units, a service news release said Thursday.

The details of the plan were not immediately clear, but it "puts families first and holds companies accountable," according to the release.

Military families have reported lead contamination and pest infestation in surveys by the Army and the Military Family Advisory Network. Congress stepped in with hearings about the issues, instituting some change via the fiscal 2020 defense budget.

Those 2020 National Defense Authorization Act provisions were also discussed in the latest meeting Wednesday between Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, other officials and the private housing companies.

Related: 'We Were All Sick:' Military Families Take Housing Horror Stories to Capitol Hill

"We have made significant strides over the last year to provide quality, safe and secure housing, but we have more work to do," said Gen. Gus Perna, head of Army Materiel Command, in a statement. "We are focused on investment and reinvestment strategies to ensure long-term viability and quality of housing."

The NDAA directed the Defense Department to develop a dispute-resolution process, move in/move out procedures and a common lease agreement. It is also to make home-maintenance histories publicly available.

Attendees also discussed a need to review the Basic Allowance for Housing process to ensure payments are "accurately" reflecting market costs.

So far, the release said, these meetings have led to quarterly town hall gatherings at every installation, hiring more staff, giving garrison commanders full access to work orders and creating a mobile app to submit and track work orders.

-- Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at dorothy.mills-gregg@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DMillsGregg.

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