Army to conduct housing inspections at Fort Gordon
The U.S. Army will begin inspecting privatized housing Tuesday at Fort Gordon, two years after an investigation found military service members and their families were enduring conditions that affected their health and safety.
Why it matters: Located near Augusta, Fort Gordon is the first military base to undergo a home-by-home inspection, which is a step towards improving housing conditions, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff’s office said in a press release.
Catch up quick: The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations launched an eight-month probe, led by Ossoff, in 2021 that found mistreatment of military families and poor conditions in housing owned by Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC at Fort Gordon.
- According to the subcommittee’s findings, outlined in a May 2022 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Balfour admitted that its employees altered its work order system to get military branches to pay fees they were not entitled to receive. (In December 2021, it pleaded guilty to major fraud in connection with these findings.)
- It also found that Balfour did not respond to some military families’ requests to fix leaking roofs and mold in their homes — and mischaracterized other mold repair requests as tasks like “painting” in its work order data system, leaving out complaints about mold.
Following the findings, the Army said it would launch its own investigation into privatized military housing at Ft. Gordon and audit Balfour's property management records.
- In December, the Army announced it would inspect all private housing on its bases.
How it works: The inspection team will assess each unit’s interior, including the common areas, exteriors, landscaping, drainage, and equipment and provide the Army with a list of life, health and safety concerns of each home.
- The team will also call Army or Balfour personnel for any emergency issues, and the private company will be expected to immediately fix any issues.
What we're watching: Sen. Ossoff on Wednesday will travel to Fort Gordon to oversee the inspection.
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