Washington, D.C. – On Monday evening, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Balfour Beatty Communities expressing their concerns with the state of housing for servicemembers and their families at Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) in Spokane.
The members referenced troubling reports about the status of the privatized housing—which is maintained by Balfour Beatty Communities—including reports of mold on the exteriors of some homes, cracks in the foundations, housing siding falling off, chipping paint, roofs in need of replacement, and more.
Noting that “previous plans have been repeatedly changed or postponed,” the lawmakers requested an update on the timeline for a long-term recapitalization plan to fix the housing issues, as well as a short-term sustainment plan, to ensure that the housing Balfour Beatty Communities is responsible for maintaining for servicemembers and their families at Fairchild Air Force Base remains livable.
“Our servicemembers and their families sacrifice so much for our country, and we need to ensure that they have access to dependable housing,” the lawmakers wrote. “According to the Air Force, Fairchild AFB hosts 641 Balfour Beatty maintained homes, 539 of which were constructed in the 1950s… We are concerned that these aging homes are rapidly approaching a point where they will not be fit for families living on base.”
“According to the Military Housing Office, 205 homes are currently rated below average in several areas, and without the necessary renovations, this number will undoubtedly increase,” the lawmakers continued. “Despite these issues, Fairchild AFB has still not received comprehensive sustainment and recapitalization plans with detailed timelines… It is our understanding that previous plans have been repeatedly changed or postponed. Without consistent and predictable investment in these communities, we are starting down a path to inadequate housing conditions. As such, we request that you provide us with a projected timeline for when Fairchild AFB should expect a comprehensive long-term recapitalization plan and short-term sustainment plan.”
“Our priority is ensuring that our servicemembers and their families have housing that they are proud to call their home,” the lawmakers concluded.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.