By David Vergon
Army News Service
Development of a bill of rights for those living in privatized Defense Department housing is underway, and DoD is seeking the input of residents, the assistant defense secretary for sustainment announced in a memo.
In the memo signed June 13, Robert McMahon invited residents of privatized family and unaccompanied housing to take part in an online survey to provide feedback on a draft bill of rights aimed at identifying the basic privatized housing rights of service members and their families. The acting defense secretary and service secretaries have endorsed the proposal.
As a key part of this effort, department leaders have been working to develop a Military Housing Privatization Initiative Resident Bill of Rights.
Throughout the drafting process, they have engaged with Congress, military and veteran service organizations and the housing partners to obtain their input.
As they move toward a final version of the MHPI Resident Bill of Rights, department leaders are seeking feedback from service members and families who live in privatized housing through an online survey.
The survey will be sent to each household by CEL & Associates, a third-party consulting firm that is administering the feedback collection, tabulation and analysis on DoD’s behalf.
McMahon said that the department is committed to addressing the concerns of service members and their families.
“We have tremendously resilient military families,” he said. “Once we recruit the individual, we retain the family, and they don’t ask for a lot.”
He noted that most families want a safe home, access to medical care, access to good schools and reliable movers when they have to relocate to change assignments — something that happens every two to three years in an average service member’s career.
In all cases, department leaders are committed to working with housing privatization partners to ensure any and all resident concerns are addressed in a responsive, timely and professional manner, with emphasis on expediting resolution of any concerns involving potential health or safety issues, McMahon said.
“The secretary of defense and the service secretaries and chiefs understand that family is important. We honor the sacrifice that service members and their families make to serve our nation. The department has a moral obligation to military families to provide safe and quality housing, and we take that obligation seriously,” he said.
Service members and families who reside in privatized housing are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft resident bill of rights through the online survey (Office of Management and Budget number 0704-0553; OMB Expiration Date March 31, 2022) that will be sent to them via email — only one person per address will receive this email — but participation in the survey is completely voluntary. All respondent information will be kept confidential and will not be linked to the feedback results shared with DoD.
Due to the significant number of surveys to be distributed — nearly 200,000 — the survey will close on July 15.
If MHPI residents have questions or need technical support, or if no member of their household received an email with a survey link, they may contact CEL & Associates Inc. by email at: BillofRightsFeedback@celassociates.com. Residents are asked to identify their installation and complete their street address on any emails.
Feedback on the draft bill of rights must be provided through the survey, not to this email address.