With Congressional testimonies from military families last week, reports of families who have experienced unlivable conditions within their homes have flooded news media outlets. There have been stories of mold, pest infestation, and constant pushback from military housing companies.
These are things that military families have long dealt with when it comes to military housing, but no amount of reporting seemed to do any good. However, now it seems as though military families finally have the ear of the Department of Defense leaders and those in our government who work toward making sure our military families are heard.
For information on the Commandant of the Marine Corps ordering base commanders to visit housing, click here.
It may be a long time until we see any real changes or significant headway in how these issues are addressed or for the contracted companies to offer significant changes in the safety of our housing. But now that they are listening, we need to be sure we are reporting all the issues within military housing and continue to lead these issues up the chain of command if they are not being resolved.
If you have an issue in your military housing, here are the steps you need to take to bring the issue to the proper channels.
5 Steps for Reporting Military Housing Issues
Report to maintenance. If no resolution is found…
Report to housing or your base government housing initiative, copying maintenance. This looks a little different for each branch of the military:
Army — Contact your housing office and the Resident Community Initiative (RCI).
Marine Corps — Varies by
Navy — Email NavyHousingHQ@navy.mil to report any on-going issues.
Air Force — Contact your local base housing office.
Coast Guard — Contact your local base housing office and report it to the Housing Division of the Coast Guard.
Report to garrison command, copying housing, maintenance, and your housing initiative program (if applicable). If no resolution is found…
Report to your senators. This includes both the state you reside in, as well as your home of record. All senators have contact information or forms available on their websites. Complete step five in addition to this.
Report to the secretary of your military branch.
Army — Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper
Navy and Marine Corps — Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer
Air Force — Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Heather A. Wilson (No direct contact email or phone number could be found. Social media may be the best and most direct way to contact her.)
Coast Guard — Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Shultz (You are emailing his office staff.)
Advocate publicly at forums, like those hosted by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA Family Readiness) family forum or any other public forum or town hall meeting held on your installation.
It is your choice to seek legal counsel or contact the press.
If there is still no resolution, or you would like to bring the issue to the attention of our government leaders, use the contact information below:
Senate Armed Forces Committee:
Shannon Razsadin, Executive Director of Military Family Advisory Network
Military families across the world are coming together to voice their concerns about military housing. We have heard stories of mold growth, termites falling from ceilings, extreme heat, cancer-causing water, and housing offices that do nothing but put a bandage over the issue until the next resident moves in. But now, thanks to some brave and courageous military families, we are banding together to have a voice. We just want safe housing, clean housing. We want housing where we don’t have to wonder if we will have pervasive health issues for years to come.
Speak up. Tell your story. Let leaders know that we won’t stand for this.