You are on page 1of 2
MARK R. WARNER — von FINANCE BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS: United States Senate oct RULES AND ADMINISTRATION November 7, 2018 The Honorable James N. Matis, Secretary of Defense U.S. Department of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, D.C. 20301 Dear Secretary Mattis, Iam writing to express my deep concer over a recent Reuters article alleging pervasive health hazards in private military housing across the country, including at Fort Belvoir, Naval Air Station Oceana, Marine Corps Base Quantico, and in additional areas throughout the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, The article documents unacceptable conditions such as rodents and mold in housing and describes the difficulties that military families face in ensuring these hazards are addressed by private real estate companies. This is not the first time that unhealthy conditions in military housing have been documented. In November 2011, I was made aware of similar complaints regarding mold in private military housing in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. Working with Navy officials and impacted ary families, I strove to ensure that both the Navy and Lincoln Military Housing (LMH), a residential real estate management company responsible for the housing, implemented a plan to reduce these hazards, As a result, LMH agreed to offer free mold inspection to any resident requesting the service, to hire an independent professional engineering firm to survey the conditions, to update training for maintenance teams and more; the Navy also committed to improving tracking tools and enhancing oversight of property management performance. But today it appears that these changes were insufficient or ignored. In 2015, the Department of Defense’s own Inspector General expressed concems about unsafe military housing, specifically related to Fort Belvoir and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. More recently, I was in touch with the U.S. Army regarding another Rewers article, alleging lead poisoning at a number of Army installations across the country. 1 ask that you provide our office with a detailed briefing as soon as possible outlining the immediate and long-term mitigation strategy to ensure military housing ~ both public and private —is safe and secure for our servicemembers and their families, and to provide legislative proposals or guidance on legislation needed to ensure that there is increased accountability for private companies. Please contact Caroline Wadhams in my office with questions. She can be reached at 202-224-2418. ‘The health and safety of our servicemembers and their families are of the utmost importance. Our nation’s military families deserve safe and healthy housing. It is imperative that you determine a plan to alleviate these issues in the coming weeks. Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. I look forward to your timely response. Sincerely, mirc. Mark R. Warner United States Senator