WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers are taking an investigation into dangerous military housing conditions to the next level. The bipartisan push comes amid serious allegations of abuse.
An investigation led by Sen. Jon Ossoff and Sen. Ron Johnson found several issues in military homes run by Balfour Beatty.
“Cockroaches, mold, mildew, ceilings falling in – it’s completely unacceptable,” Ossoff, D-Ga., said.
Now the Army is also looking into the alleged abuses.
“And I’m leading additional bipartisan action to ensure that there’s impact and change as a result of what we found,” Ossoff said.
Those additional actions include asking the Secretary of Defense to get involved.
“The men and women that serve this country, the finest among us. Are they being properly housed? What is the truth of the situation? It really is up to the inspector general, the defense department,” Johnson, R-Wis., said.
The company Balfour Beatty plead guilty to defrauding the government by falsifying repair records.
Military housing advocates say the problem goes much deeper.
Rachel Christian is the chief legislative officer with Armed Forces Housing Advocates. The organization has worked with thousands of families in bad living conditions.
“There are 13 other privatized housing companies that are running military housing that are doing the same exact thing that Balfour Beatty is doing,” Christian said.
She wants to see more government oversight for privatized military housing.
“Because military families are not living in safe or habitable homes. And I don’t think that is a huge ask of the government to ensure is occurring,” Christian said.
Senators Johnson and Ossoff say this isn’t a problem with a quick fix, but they are committed to finding a solution.
“Let’s get to the heart of the problem. Let’s determine what the truth is and let’s take effective action,” Johnson said.
“Our service members and their families sacrifice so much to defend our country and they should not have to sacrifice a safe and clean home,” Ossoff added.