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Navy Addresses Problems with Military Housing


Tony

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WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is aggressively working to address unresolved complaints associated with housing, especially those identified during the “100 percent Sailor contact” and completion of requested home visits.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson, directed command leadership Feb. 23 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 we close out this initial surge in contact and visitation, I want to thank Navy leaders for reaching out to our Sailors and their families, listening to them, and addressing their housing concerns,” Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Installations Command, said.

Based on town hall meetings and home visits, 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. Immediate actions taken since Feb. 13 include increased Navy oversight to hold public private venture (PPV) partners accountable for timeliness benchmarks, improved customer service, efforts to address root causes instead of symptoms, and more thorough measurement of resident satisfaction after service calls. 

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

Additionally, the Navy commissioned an independent, third-party firm to conduct a survey for Navy privatized housing residents. This “out-of-cycle” survey was directed by the Navy and is different than past annual surveys conducted on behalf of the companies.

Open and honest communication is critical as the Navy works toward long-term, sustainable solutions. Sailors and their families are encouraged to use the current trouble ticket processes and inform their installation Housing Service Center and/or chain of command if issues are not being resolved.

“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.

Collectively and individually, the Navy’s PPV partners are engaged and are taking appropriate actions, such as hiring more people, adding maintenance supervisors and oversight personnel, and replacing personnel, where needed.  

The Navy oversees approximately 113,000 housing units worldwide, which are divided into four categories: privatized family housing (also known as public private venture, or PPV housing), government-operated family housing, privatized unaccompanied housing, and government-operated unaccompanied housing. 

Five partner companies operate more than 39,000 PPV family housing units throughout the U.S., including Hawaii. As a result of the 100 percent contact of Sailors directed by the CNO, 17% of residents living in Navy privatized family housing reported an issue with their residence with 5% asking for a home visit by their chain of command.

Of the families living in the approximately 8,300 government-operated family housing units overseas, 7% reported an issue with their residence and 2% asked for a home visit.

Two partner companies operate approximately 6,000 privatized unaccompanied housing units in San Diego and Norfolk, Virginia. The Navy leadership received a 14% request rate to visit PPV unaccompanied housing. 2% of the Sailors living in the approximately 63,000 government-operated unaccompanied housing units, both overseas and stateside, requested a leadership visit. 

While the Navy has made great strides in identifying and fixing residence issues during this recent surge, it is worth reiterating that Sailors and their families may always request command involvement to solve housing issues to include Chain of Command visits, and direct involvement from Installation Commanding Officers and housing personnel as needed.

For more information on Navy housing, go to https://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr/housing.html

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