New bill aims to implement safeguards for military housing | 2019-03-15
Members of the U.S. military risk their lives every day to ensure our safety, so you would think their privatized housing would at least be suitable, right?
Well, not exactly, as a recent survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network revealed that more than 50% of military respondents claimed to have a negative experience with privatized housing.
In fact, many servicemembers cited poor living conditions as some homes contained mold, rodents and even severe health risks.
The act, Ensuring Safe Housing for our Military Act, was introduced in the House on Thursday and in the Senate on March 7, would require installation commanders to withhold the service member’s rent from the landlord after officials have been notified of potential health, safety or environmental hazard, until steps are taken to remedy the problem — and the military housing official and the service member agree that it has been fixed.
Furthermore, the bill, if passed, would also create standards for safety, environmental and health inspectors and contractors involved with military housing, according to the article.
“It is unacceptable that some military families around the country have little or no recourse when private contractors provide substandard housing,” said Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., who introduced the bill in the House Thursday.
Notably, the article also highlights that service secretaries are currently working to finalize a tenant’s bill of rights that would increase accountability from privatized housing companies.
Among other things, this would mean privatization companies would be required to not only pay the relocation costs of service members and their families, but also any temporary lodging fees charged If they are forced to leave their homes due to poor conditions.
“This bipartisan legislation is an important step in holding private housing companies accountable and empowering military families, and I will continue to work with members of both parties to support America’s service members,” Levin said in a statement.