(WAVY) — Recently, there has a lot of talk about poor living conditions on and off military bases. Earlier this week, Congress got an earful about everything from mold to rodents in housing.
So, what needs to be done to get that fixed?
10 On Your Side spoke with Sen. Mark Warner (D- Va.) about his plans to fix the problems.
Warner says there aren’t enough controls on the private companies that run military housing. He is calling on the military to take a stronger stance to protect the men and women who serve.
“Unfortunately the military outsourced the housing of our military families. A lot of these companies have not provided good quality care,” Warner said.
He hopes change will come with the passage of the Defense Authorization Act, which includes bipartisan legislation that calls for ensuring safe housing for military members and their families.
“This is not rocket science. We’ve seen other private companies able to make sure that if you’ve got a broken pipe, if you’ve got mold, you get remediation on a timely basis. What my fear is, is that we have not held the threat of frankly breaking the contract with some of these companies,” he said.
Warner plans to keep visiting military housing until changes are made, saying the private companies should be put in the hot seat.
“I think the military needs to take a much stronger hand with these seven companies actually that have the contracts across the whole country,” Warner said.
During Thursday’s conversation, Warner also touched on recent pushes to designate cities as “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” While he supports the Second Amendment, he believes many Virginians support what he calls “reasonable gun safety laws” and urges people to be patient.
“I think you will see rational, legitimate gun safety legislation taken up as appropriate in the Virginia General Assembly,” Warner said. “My hope would be that some of these communities would watch and see, you know, what the General Assembly actually passes and what Gov. Northam might sign before they assume the worst.”
Warner also talked about the “Future Act,” which restores funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
It was passed in the Senate Thursday and frees up $255 million for HBCUs.
It now heads to the President’s desk.