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'These failures are unacceptable' | Air Force demands improvement plan from private military housing company

The USAF is requiring Balfour-Beatty Communities to submit a comprehensive improvement plan by the end of the year.
Credit: Photos submitted by military families
Military families detailed mold, lead paint and maintenance issues they've experienced in base housing.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — The U.S. Air Force sent a letter to Balfour-Beatty Communities, one of the private companies that manages military housing, to demand an improvement plan.

"These failures are unacceptable and have seriously eroded confidence by senior Air Force leadership in BBC’s ability to provide military families with safe, quality housing," Assistant Secretary John Henderson said.

The letter follows up on issues WUSA9 has been reporting on for months. Military families told us they’ve been living with mold, lead paint and maintenance issues, which create safety concerns.

The USAF is requiring Balfour-Beatty to submit a comprehensive improvement plan by the end of the year.

"The Performance Improvement Plan must be a comprehensive integrated plan, with milestones and schedules, to remedy all of BBC’s construction, maintenance, repair, management, and oversight performance deficiencies," Henderson said.

The letter goes on to detail consequences if the Air Force does not see "prompt and substantial improvement."

"We are hopeful that we can soon agree on a path forward to address these material issues and avoid a need to initiate a formal dispute process," Henderson said.

We reached out to Balfour-Beatty Communities for a response to the letter.

"The company is redoubling its efforts to address the issues raised in the letter," a spokesperson said. "We are committed to ensuring that the housing we provide to all of our residents is of a high standard. We are taking a number of steps to address maintenance concerns, including hiring specialists to provide additional oversight, training our people on best customer service practices, and hiring more maintenance and quality control experts. Balfour Beatty Communities is working directly with Air Force representatives to ensure their expectations are met."

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Military families aren't just worried about the conditions they have to live in on-base. For many of them, they are worried about the long-term health issues that come afterward. Some military family groups are advocating for a registry to allow the Department of Defense to track those who have been exposed to toxins because of their base housing. 

Members of the public can ask their representatives to support addressing the military housing problems in this year’s defense spending bill. It is going through the legislative process right now.

Call and ask to be connected to your lawmakers at the U.S. House of Representatives 202-225-3121, or U.S. senators at 202-224-3121.

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