FORT BENNING, Ga. (WTVM) - A top leader with the U.S. Army went on a tour of military housing at Fort Benning Thursday.
The tour came after continued concerns over conditions with reports of mold and pest infestations, along with lead poisoning that could affect children.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston, who was at Fort Benning Thursday, and other senior leaders have introduced an action plan to lawmakers that outlines steps to help solve military housing issues.
That plan includes a drafted Tenant Bill of Rights to protect residents of privatized military housing, which accommodates more than 86,000 families.
Those senior army leaders spent the day visiting families in homes affected by lead paint, mold, and other toxic hazards at Fort Benning and installations across the world. The secretary of the army recently said private real estate firms managing and maintaining the housing have been failing these families, and the army itself neglected its duties.
“You know what I’m seeing so far is we’ve got to maintain the momentum, and we are,” said Grinston. “You know, we’re still doing those meetings with our housing partners. We’re still working on that Tenant Bill of Rights. We’re almost there. It’s 16 of 18. So, all these things are moving forward Again like we said, engaged leaders. We’re not taking our eye off the ball. People first, that’s why we’re going through the houses, and we’ve got to keep that up.”
He and other army leaders said providing safe quality housing is critical to the readiness of the force, including barracks for single soldiers by 2021. Plans already call for the army to eliminate its lowest level of military housing.