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Leadership tackles housing issues at JBSA Town Halls

  • Published
  • By Sabrina Fine and Brian Lepley
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Brigadier General Laura Lenderman, 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio Commander, hosted two town halls last week at JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph to discuss ongoing military housing initiatives and hear feedback from JBSA residents.

The health and safety of JSBA residents is a top priority for Brig Gen Lenderman, and she expressed her continued commitment to addressing housing concerns and finding resolutions at both installations.

Earlier this year, 502 ABW leadership conducted a Military Housing Review which resulted in over 500 responses from JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph residents. JBSA leadership then conducted 110 in-home health and wellness visits, and hosted 6 town halls.

Based on resident feedback and Air Force guidance, JBSA leadership implemented the following initiatives over the last few months:

  • Increased oversight and inspections to include 100% new-occupancy inspections prior to new residents moving into home and 10% no-notice inspections by senior leaders prior to resident acceptance
  • Formed Housing Resident Councils
  • Provided legal assistance to residents and assisted in the dispute resolution process
  • Implemented a new system to track health and safety issues
  • Instituted monthly compliance checklists
  • Conducted quarterly Commander’s evaluations
  • Validated 100% of emergency work orders
  • Reviewed work orders for trends and persistent problems
  •  Made contact with residents who scored 3.5 or below out of a 5-point scale on Privatized Housing “Satisfacts” program which captures satisfaction ratings of residents

JBSA-Lackland Housing Town Hall

Twenty-one housing residents attended the 10 December JBSA-Lackland town hall, and nine residents detailed concerns and problems with pest infestation, structural problems, mold, and open sewage in their yards. 

“We are here to address your concerns and advocate for better quality of housing in an open, transparent environment,” said Gen Lenderman.

The Director of the 502d Civil Engineering Group, Mr. Richard Trevino, briefed on Lackland housing sustainment projects that had been completed: neighborhood demolitions, roof replacements, floor replacements from carpet to hardwood, and other infrastructure improvements.  Some projects underway are HVAC replacements, exterior paint and fascia replacements, and additional hard-surface flooring and roofing installation.

The residents were vocal about their concerns with Balfour Beatty Community (BBC) contractors, the company that manages and maintains Lackland’s 885 housing units.

“Since I’ve been here, my chain of command has been very supportive.  It’s the privatized housing company that’s been our problem,” said Staff Sergeant John Roellchen of the 37th Training Support Squadron.  “We hear senior leadership say they’re doing what they can, we see Congress engaged. There’s just been a disconnect between that and what’s happening at our level.”  The day after the Lackland town hall, 802d Civil Engineering Squadron employees accompanied BBC representatives to each of the housing units that voiced concerns.

“It’s important that residents share their housing issues with us because if we don’t know, we can’t help fix them,” said Mr. Joe Hockaday, Director, 802d Civil Engineering Squadron.  “We appreciate all of the feedback.  We want to make things better.”

JBSA-Randolph Housing Town Hall

Nineteen housing residents attended the 12 December JBSA-Randolph town hall, and nine residents raised concerns about plumbing problems, inadequate repairs, and suggestions for possible resolutions.

“Please let us know your concerns, what is not getting done, and we will follow up to ensure the privatized housing owners are accountable and providing safe and healthy living conditions for JBSA families,” expressed Gen Lenderman.

Mr. Hockaday discussed the establishment of the Housing Resident Council.  “Resident Councils are comprised of people who live in your neighborhoods”, said Mr. Hockaday.  “We are providing them with training to ensure they are able to advocate for our residents.  They are another resource that can help address resident concerns and resolve issues with the privatized owners.”  Four of the Housing Resident Council members introduced themselves, and their areas of responsibility were displayed on the presentation screen.

Mr. Hockaday encouraged residents to fill out the “Satisfacts” survey after a work order is completed.

“If you’re dissatisfied with the work that was performed, please ensure you document a low score,” Mr. Hockaday added.  “Every work order with a 3.5 rating or less will result in our military housing office following up with a call to the residents and the addressing the issue with the privatized owner.”

For those issues that are not resolved, the dispute resolution process encourages residents to call their privatized housing Community Directors for immediate issues.  The next call would be to the installation Housing Management Office, and then Hunt Housing’s Promise Helpline.

Hunt Military Community, responsible for managing and maintaining 317 Randolph housing units, has hired new directors and managerial staff, and adopted a new work order system.  The company also recently began a pilot program to identify specific moisture issues in homes and lessen humidity levels in order to combat mold outbreaks.

“The people up here, we care…we want you to live in a healthy and safe environment,” said Gen Lenderman.  “We are committed to improving military housing across JBSA.”

Gen Lenderman ended each town hall by thanking residents for their continued cooperation, participation, and patience.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please send them through Gen Lenderman’s Feedback Friday program at Randolphpublicaffairs@us.af.mil and use the subject line “Feedback Fridays.”