GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Maintenance response times, lack of transparency of housing work orders, and effective sponsorship were among common findings of over four thousand recent home and barracks visits here, said the garrison commander at a town hall to address housing issues.
Garrison Commander Col. Adam Boyd hosted a housing town hall at the Tower Barracks Theater June 25 to update the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community on housing issues at Grafenwoehr, Netzaberg and Vilseck.
Earlier this spring, unit and garrison leadership conducted visits to all government-leased housing, on-post housing and barracks to assess the scale and scope of housing issues — prompted by housing concerns across the Department of Defense. The garrison also held six town halls across Bavaria to address housing problems and questions.
Senior leaders assessed 100 percent of the 4,339 homes and barracks at USAG Bavaria — the largest number of government-leased and owned homes and barracks among any Army garrison in Europe.
“Our immediate priority of the visits was meeting U.S. Army obligations to provide safe, quality family housing,” Boyd said.
The garrison did end up relocating several families due to conditions considered unsafe. But at present, all housing problems at USAG Bavaria impacting life, health and safety have been resolved.
Those conditions affecting “life, health and safety” include situations that — if left uncorrected — could cause harm or injury to a person or extensive damage to a facility. Examples include water, fuel, gas, hazardous material or chemical leaks; electrical hazards; busted pipes or flooding in a room or barracks; entire houses or barracks without heat, water and/or power; or downed trees generating immediate danger.
The USAG Bavaria Housing Division has made progress since the initial housing town halls. For example, staff with the Housing Division established a 24/7 housing hotline (DSN 475-6324, CIV 09641-83-6324), created a USAG Bavaria “How-To” video series, and re-energized a responsive Housing Facebook page.
But issues identified in the findings indicate the work is far from over. The most common issues included the following:
“We still can and must improve,” Boyd concluded. “As a garrison we’re always looking for ways to help create a better experience for inprocessing and outprocessing Soldiers and families.”
USAG Bavaria holds quarterly town halls to address housing issues. The next town hall will be in September.