Housing report

Mold, major leaks and other abuses detailed in Senate report on military housing

WASHINGTON (Grey DC) – The Senate Standing Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday released the results of its 8-month investigation into the mistreatment of military families in private housing.

The bipartisan subcommittee investigated complaints about housing hazards, including mold, major leaks and other housing hazards that were allegedly ignored by military contractor Balfour Beatty Communities.

Officials said they conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed more than 11,000 pages of data regarding the company’s operations. During audience on Capitol Hill, lawmakers detailed the findings; ongoing corporate failures, environmental hazards and falsified records, which they say put the health and safety of military families at risk.

Balfour Beatty Communities houses military families at 55 facilities across the country. The company pleaded guilty to major fraud following a Justice Department investigation late last year. The company agreed to pay $65 million for lying and manipulating data from 2013 to 2019.

Subcommittee officials said the company’s mismanagement continued after the Justice Department investigation.

Since 2019, congressional investigators have been examining housing conditions at Fort Gordon in Georgia and Fort Sheppard in Texas.

As detailed in that report released Tuesday, the subcommittee said it found a “steady stream of new complaints” where Balfour “failed to act.” They also say they uncovered management failures through falsified documents and mislabeled work orders.

When confronted with the report at a Capitol Hill hearing, Balfour’s representatives denied many of the charges.

Richard C. Taylor, president of facilities operations, renovation and construction for Balfour Beatty Communities, said the company has been striving for improvement since 2019 and now has survey results from promising residents.

Following the hearing, a spokesperson for Balfour Beatty Communities issued this statement:

“We are disappointed that the PSI report does not accurately reflect the company’s level of commitment to its military residents and their families or acknowledge the significant steps that have been taken to address the small number of complaints that have been received. discussed. The report, which was released ahead of the hearing, includes multiple inaccuracies and mischaracterizations, which the company attempted to correct prior to release and will address again after the hearing. As we continually seek to improve, as the operator of 43,000 residences, we will inevitably face challenges. The company remains focused on the safety, health and well-being of its residents and on delivering quality homes backed by prompt and efficient customer service and maintenance support.

Rachel Christian with Armed Forces Housing Advocates said she wanted the military to show the door to Balfour Beatty Communities.

“The only way forward for military families to feel safe in their homes is to end contracts with Balfour Beatty, she said.

She also noted that military housing issues extend far beyond a single company.

The blame is double,” Christian said. “It is the housing corporations that repeatedly choose profits over people, and it is the DOD that has failed to contribute any form of oversight that would prevent them from committing such heinous acts against their own military. “

Congress is not a criminal court. Subcommittee officials said they wanted to highlight military housing issues.

Members are generally not required to live in base accommodation.

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