Amendment to improve military housing introduced to 2020 budget


WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner have filed an amendment to the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget in an effort to improve housing conditions for military families. 

The senators say the amendment would create a reserve fund for addressing health hazards in military housing — all without affecting the national deficit. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Ca.), a fellow member of the Senate Committee on the Budget, joined Kaine and Warner in filing the amendment.

This comes just after Warner, Kaine and Harris introduced the Ensuring Safe Housing for our Military Act in February. The act was created to provide stronger oversight over private military housing, with penalties for contractors that perform poorly and fail to address issues.

The committee is set to start its two-day markup on the resolution on Wednesday. 

“Too many of our troops and their families are living in unacceptable conditions,” said Sen. Kaine in a press release Tuesday.  “When servicemembers are deployed, their families not only have to worry about their loved ones in harm’s way, but many of them have to endure added anxiety caused by lead, mold, or rodent infestations in their homes. Military families sacrifice so much to serve our nation – they shouldn’t have to tolerate horrible housing conditions, and our amendment is part of an effort to make sure they never have to again.”

Kaine and Warner recently met with military families in Hampton Roads about the poor conditions, many of which included poor HVAC problems, mold and water leakage. 

“Thousands of servicemembers call Virginia home, and their experiences with unsafe living conditions in housing are disturbing and unacceptable,” said Sen. Warner. “This amendment would ensure we can improve housing conditions for servicemembers and their families, whether they’re stationed here in the Commonwealth or across the country, and it would do so without adding to our deficit.”

To read the budget amendment, click here

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