Navy to survey sailors amid concerns about privatized military housing

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Navy now wants direct feedback when it comes to problems with private military housing. It is enabling residents to take part in an anonymous online survey.

Navy officials said in a news release Tuesday the survey will be conducted through April 30 and is intended to gauge the “satisfaction of residents living in privatized housing.”

Sailors will be given the chance in the survey to voice their opinions about privatized housing, and any concerns they may have about their homes, officials said.

The Navy said sailors who live in privatized housing will receive a letter with information on how to access the survey, which is being conducted through a third party company called CEL & Associates, Inc.

Sailors and family members are strongly encouraged to participate in our latest survey and share your overall experience about current living conditions. We are listening! #NavyHousinghttps://t.co/xNvfk2Autx

— Navy Region Mid-Lant (@CNRMA) April 3, 2019

The survey comes after Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine recently met with families who live in military housing in Hampton Roads. Warner called the stories he heard from families on March 11 “awful,” and noted they sounded like something out of a bad movie.

Some families who spoke to Kaine said their homes were not livable from day one. One of the families claimed their unit that hadn’t been cleaned and two of the three toilets didn’t work. 

“Did somebody even check, did somebody even walk through this place?” Kaine asked.

However the Commanding Officer for Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads says the region’s biggest provider of private military housing, Lincoln, has shown recent signs of improvement.

“They’ve increased the frequency of their callbacks and how quickly they get back to the residents on their complaints,” said Capt. Jonathan Kline.

We talked with residents at Lincoln’s Ben Moreell community near Naval Station Norfolk and got mixed responses.

“It’s been great for me. I feel comfortable here, and everything’s working. I’m good,” said Kiara Jordan.

“When I moved into this house it was immaculate. It was beautiful, it was perfect. The yard looked nice, inside looked nice, everything looked good here,” said Brad Sweeting who moved in just last week.

But Ashley Williams said Lincoln has been slow to respond, especially when she had a water leak.

“They didn’t know where the leak came from and so they ended up having to basically take my kitchen apart, and I was out of the house for about a week, which is a common issue in these homes.”

The Navy will gather information from the online surveys through April.

“We’re really gonna look to make changes to make sure that we’re providing the safe housing that our residents deserve,” Kline said.

The senators filed an amendment to the federal government’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget last month that calls for the creation of a reserve fund to address health hazards in military housing.

The Navy said Tuesday it has conducted town hall meetings and walkthroughs in light of recent complaints, and is working with housing partners to ensure issues are being addressed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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