Sen. Schatz Meets With Military Families at Pearl Harbor
Sen. Brian Schatz, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Constructions and Veterans Affairs, met with military families and officials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Monday, April 22, 2019, to review the living conditions for families in privatized housing. During his visit, Schatz heard from families who have had a hard time getting private companies managing military housing units to address persistent housing issues including mold and water leaks.
“Service members and their families at bases like Pearl Harbor-Hickam should never have to put up with unsafe living conditions,” said Sen. Schatz.
A recent Reuters investigation uncovered hazardous living conditions in privatized military housing throughout the United States, finding that service members and their families lived in homes with persistent mold blooms, water leaks, and rodent infestations. The report also detailed how companies that operate military housing are often non-responsive or blame the service member for the issues.
Last month, Schatz joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in introducing the Ensuring Safe Housing for our Military Act to address the issues raised by the report. The legislation would hold private housing companies more accountable by allowing the military to withhold payments to contractors until issues are resolved and prohibit contractors from charging certain fees. It would also require the military to withhold incentive fees to poorly performing contractors.
“Our bill would empower military officials to hold companies accountable and make sure they provide a safe, healthy living environment for our military families,” Schatz added.