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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:25 AM

Problems with military housing conditions under scrutiny on Capitol Hill this week


Problems with military housing conditions under scrutiny on Capitol Hill this week

By: Leo Shane III    15 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Military housing conditions will come under congressional scrutiny this week amid reports of failures by private contractors to maintain acceptable living standards at a host of sites around the country. On Tuesday, House Appropriations Committee members are expected to grill the services’ top housing officials during a budget posture hearing at the Capitol. The annual oversight meeting is typically a routine look at spending priorities and challenges, but the recent reports have added new tension to the event.

A day later, Senate Armed Services Committee leaders will hold a separate hearing on military housing and the Defense Department’s privatization initiative. That event will include the same service officials, plus representatives from private contracting companies and testimony from military families whose health has been jeopardized by poor housing conditions.

Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said he scheduled the event after hearing disturbing complaints from troops in his home state and other locations. The goal, he said, is to “ensure that our military families are receiving the high-quality, affordable, on-base housing they deserve and … look at what the Department of Defense is doing to hold these contractors accountable.”

A December report by Reuters found significant failings at multiple military housing projects across the country. The problems included “shoddy workmanship, raw sewage, rotten wood and chronic leaks” among other issues.

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