Families living with military housing horrors plea for reforms
STARS AND STRIPES
By CLAUDIA GRISALES
Published: February 13, 2019
Several witnesses and lawmakers agreed Wednesday that the residential horror stories can be traced back to the 1996 military housing privatization initiative that let contractors take over management of the residences. Previously, the military managed these properties.
Military spouse Janna Driver testifies Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, as fellow military spouses Crystal Cornwall, left, and Jana Wanner look on. CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPESWASHINGTON — Termites falling from light fixtures. Toxic mold sickening families. Rodent infestations of residences. Asbestos and lead paint exposures.
This is the alarming world of dilapidated military housing today.
On Wednesday, some families who have suffered with these residential nightmares told their stories on Capitol Hill.
“Our military families do not deserve this after all the sacrifices they make,” Janna Driver, the wife of an active-duty Air Force servicemember and mother of five children, told lawmakers during an extensive Senate hearing on military housing problems. “It is criminal. It is unbelievable the extent of this cover up.”
Driver joined two other military spouses during the more than three-hour hearing to plead for help as they detailed years of battles with deteriorating housing conditions, subsequent illnesses and extensive bills.
Private military housing executives and top military officials also testified before the joint subpanel hearing for the Senate Armed Services Committee. They said they are now addressing the concerns.
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