Senate panel to release bipartisan report on abuses by military housing contractors
A subpanel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next week on the alleged mistreatment of military families in privatized housing.
Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the panel’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, scheduled the hearing for April 26 after investigating the issue for eight months.
Ossoff and Johnson plan to release a bipartisan report that day on their findings.
“For eight months, we have investigated the mistreatment of military families in privatized housing on U.S. bases,” Ossoff said. “On Tuesday we will release findings, hear directly from America’s heroes, and question those responsible for their housing.”
Abuse by private military contractors has been a bipartisan issue, and last year made headlines when one of the largest such contractors pleaded guilty to defrauding the military.
In December, Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) was ordered to pay over $65 million after pleading guilty to lying to the Pentagon about poor housing conditions to get performance bonuses. The community provided housing to 21 Air Force, 16 Army, and 18 Navy bases across the country.
Private sector companies own about 99 percent of homes on military installations in the U.S., according to a report from the Government Accountability Office released on March 31.
That report found that the Department of Defense has largely stepped up its oversight of private contractors, but will continue to face struggles because it cannot make changes to housing contracts without the consent of the company.
“Service members represent the finest among us. They and their families make many sacrifices in service to this great nation,” Johnson said.
“When stationed in U.S. military installations, these men and women do not deserve to live in conditions that may damage the health and safety of themselves and their families,” he continued.