Hawthorne Army Depot was involved in two Army housing surveys conducted this year, but an independent third party who showed that those living in the privatized housing are not satisfied with their living conditions.
More than 100,000 residents were invited to participate in the survey with 25,414 responding. Scores were calculated using a 1-100 scoring range with the lowest overall scores falling to Hawthorne Army Depot which fell into the “poor” range, as reported by Army Times.
Only 5.3 percent of the survey’s sent to residents on the depot were returned. The overall percentage was 57.4 with property and service rates coming in only .2 percent from one another. The overall score rating was listed as “very poor”.
On March 26 of this year. Lt. Col. Dustin G. Bishop held a town hall meeting at the direction of the Army. The Independent-News attended that meeting with the topics of how to fill out a work order and procedures on how to keep check out lawn maintenance equipment being covered. Members of SOC, LLC. staff were on hand to answer questions that arose.
In response to town hall meetings, a housing environmental health response registry was established to address health and safety concerns, improving work-order tracking systems, conducting walkthroughs of all houses, inspection of all barracks and implementing a 24- hour hotline at each installation.
“Feedback from residents is extremely valuable for measuring and improving the quality of housing on Army installations,” Alex Beehler, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, said in a statement. “The results of this year’s survey will be used to continue identifying the concerns of our residents, and will guide Army staff and the private housing companies on ways we can improve the quality of life for our Soldiers and their families.”
Military housing, especially accommodations that have been privatized, have been a major topic for Congress, when news reports started emerging about serious problems such as mold, vermin and lead contamination on multiple base family unites. Other problems included residents were not satisfied with landscaping, road conditions, sidewalks and common areas but they were satisfied with the ease of the leasing process and housing staff, overall.
“We are absolutely committed to providing safe and secure housing on every installation,” Gen. Gus Perna who commands Army Materiel Command, said in a statement. “We are taking action to earn back the trust of our housing residents and holding ourselves and privatized housing companies accountable to provide a high-quality standard of living.”
Housing at the depot date back to the 1930’s when the depot began operation.