JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Navy has ordered a one-month survey to find out how sailors and their families feel about living in privatized housing.
This comes after a recent national report found more than half of those living in privatized housing were not satisfied.
The report found widespread complaints from all branches of the military. According to the Military Family Advisory Network, many families are living in “dangerous situations”, with reports of black mold, lead paint, faulty wiring and pest problems in their home.
The Navy has promised to fix those problems and it wants to hear from sailors all over- including those in Jacksonville.
At Naval Station Mayport, the military has partnered with a private company to offer homes and amenities. These partnerships will go under the microscope after concerns outlined in the report about privatized housing across the country.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 16,000 service members from all branches and found:
- 55 percent had a negative or very negative opinion of privatized housing.
- Those surveyed described a number of issues, from black mold to termites.
- Some said their requests to fix the issues were denied or ignored.
Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer addressed those frustrations during a Senate hearing in February.
“I want to start by first apologizing on behalf of the Department of the Navy to any sailor, Marine, soldier, airmen, Coast Guardsman that was affected by the housing malady that we've seen before us. We can and we will correct the issue at hand, which is not acceptable," Spencer said.
As part of that solution, the Navy has ordered a survey of people living in privatized housing.
The survey will rate overall satisfaction with housing and any concerns relating to health and safety.
All Sailors living in privatized housing are strongly encouraged to participate in the survey. They will receive a letter, which will provide information on how to access the survey, from CEL & Associates, Inc., which is an independent third party that will conduct and manage the survey. From now until the end of the month, families can mark specific concerns they have about their homes. They can also mark their likes and dislikes about privatized housing overall.
This isn’t the first survey on privatized military housing but it is the first being conducted on behalf of the Navy. In past years, it was done by the companies that provide housing for the military.
While the Military Family Advisory Network didn’t mention health concerns from Mayport or Jacksonville in its report, it did include Balfour Beatty – the company that provides privatized housing for Naval Station Mayport. The company’s President spoke at a hearing last month and said the company is committed to correcting problems.