All three of my big brothers served in the military.
I know the responsibilities we owe to our service members, veterans, and their families.
So I’ve got a new plan to improve military housing, and I’d like to take a minute to tell you about it.
The way it works right now, a handful of private developers have taken over 99% of domestic military family housing.
Driven by short-term payoffs and with little meaningful oversight, these contractors have failed to maintain the homes they were entrusted with.
Military families have been living with lead paint, faulty wiring, collapsing ceilings, and mice infestations. Mold has taken over entire rooms. Kids are getting sick from living in these homes.
That’s not how we should treat our service members — and it needs to stop now.
My plan would improve our military housing, protect families from abuse, and hold private developers accountable. Add your name if you’re ready to be a part of this fight.
Here’s how it’ll work.
Let’s start with something simple: If a developer doesn’t live up to the terms of its agreement to maintain habitable properties for our military families, we shouldn’t reward them with bonuses or other incentive payments.
In fact, I’ll require the Secretary of Defense to standardize leases across the military services and review all existing housing contracts for violations before they can be renewed.
Under my proposal, every base will have a housing office staffed with advocates for service members — not beholden to private contractors. That office will have independent authority to inspect housing on base to ensure that it’s safe, clean, and meets all state and local requirements.
It’ll be illegal for any senior defense official — or any member of Congress who oversees them — to benefit from investing in a military housing company with business before the Pentagon.
Military tenants will get a “bill of rights,” in writing, when they move in to protect them from abuse.
First on the list: Families can withhold payment when landlords don’t play by the rules.
Second: If a service member’s home needs repairs or remediation, the work order can’t be closed until the service member approves. And if the family has to stay somewhere else during repairs, the landlord pays for that, too — and in a worst case scenario, a service member should be able to move off base without penalty.
There’ll be one standardized resident satisfaction survey across all the services — conducted independently from the housing provider — and one consolidated database of resident complaints.
We’ll make all those results public to make sure every military family can make an informed choice about where to live when they move.
We also need to take care of families who’ve been harmed.
The impacts of substandard housing can linger for a lifetime. My plan requires the Pentagon to establish a health registry for service members and their families, and to screen and track for medical conditions they got as a result of unsafe housing. And my plan would provide lifetime care for any dependent child who was harmed by substandard housing.
The sacrifices our service members, veterans, and their families make — constant moves, repeated deployments — are enormous.
The way I see it, this isn’t complicated — it’s not even a close call: No matter where they are stationed, the very least we owe our military personnel is a safe, affordable place to live.
If we can’t provide that, it’s bad for morale, it’s bad for retention, it’s bad for readiness — but most importantly, it’s a breach of trust owed to those who volunteer to defend our country.
Add your name if you’re with me, and let’s fight to make sure our service members can count on decent housing.
Thanks for being a part of this,
Elizabeth doesn’t accept contributions from PACs of any kind or federally registered lobbyists. This grassroots movement is powered by supporters like you. Chip in now to help build our movement.