Stars and Stripes – Military housing company to spend $ 72 million to modernize communities at five Air Force bases
Construction workers replace shingles on the roofs of Tierra Vista communities at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., July 8, 2019 (Jonathan Whitely / US Air Force)
One of the major companies participating in the Defense Ministry’s privatized military housing program said on Tuesday it would spend $ 72 million over five years to upgrade five Air Force facilities.
Work is scheduled to begin this year at properties overseen by Lendlease in Hawaii, California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
“The improvements planned at each facility are designed with the residents in mind, not only to improve the look and feel of communities, but also to ensure that the housing supports today’s military and their families, as well as generations. future military families. Jerry Schmitz, senior vice president of Lendlease Communities, which oversees Air Force properties, said in a press release.
The bases receiving the upgrades are the Hickam communities at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Tierra Vista communities at Los Angeles Air Force Base, San Pedro, California; Tierra Vista at Peterson-Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado; Soaring Heights Community at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; and Soaring Heights at Holloman Air Force Base, NM
Private companies involved in the housing program have come under fire from the military and Congress since a 2018 Reuters investigation found widespread and systemic shortcomings of these companies, including falsified maintenance reports, mold, pest infestations, poor infrastructure and retaliation against those who complained.
Congress passed the Military Housing Privatization Initiative in 1996, legislation which was itself motivated by issues of maintenance and capitalization of Department of Defense housing.
At a joint House sub-committee hearing on readiness and military personnel in March, President John Garamendi said lawmakers would continue to demand more from private companies operating the housing.
“Military families deserve quality housing, and they deserve appropriate property management, and this committee will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that these families get both quality housing and appropriate responses. to all their concerns, “he said. .
Australian company Lendlease maintains its military housing business in the United States from its headquarters in Nashville. He oversees more than 40,000 single-family rental homes in 28 facilities in 12 states, according to written testimony submitted by the company to the House subcommittee.
The company’s announcement on Tuesday made no mention of the Reuters report or the scrutiny from Congress.
The Los Angeles Air Force Base will see $ 19.2 million in upgrades for electrical infrastructure upgrades, exterior painting and wood repairs in more than 500 homes, according to the press release. Improvements will also be made to playgrounds, irrigation and perimeter fencing.
A $ 16.8 million investment at Peterson-Schriever Air Force Base will be used for new privacy fencing in more than 800 homes, 90 new heating / air conditioning systems, exterior painting and repairs for more than 90 homes .
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is providing $ 11.7 million to replace flooring, countertops, appliances and lighting in more than 300 homes, among other upgrades, the statement said.
Holloman Air Force Base will get 135 interior renovations, exterior painting of over 400 homes, replacement of over 940 vinyl fences, over 325 new heating / air conditioning systems, street repairs and other upgrades at a cost of $ 13.6 million of dollars, the press release said.
About $ 10.9 million will go to Hickam communities in Hawaii to repaint historic homes, remove trees, repair sidewalks and replace windows and air conditioning systems, the statement said.