Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.-20) and Richard Hudson (R-N.C.-8) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to improve the quality of military housing on bases across the country. This legislation will increase the Department of Defense’s oversight of privatized housing contracts and ensure military families have access to the support they need when reporting housing issues to superiors.
“Every family deserves a safe place to call home, especially our servicemembers and their families who sacrifice every day to serve this country, said Cortez Masto. “It’s unacceptable that military families are faced with living in poorly maintained housing, or newly constructed homes that are unsafe. I’m proud to introduce legislation to bring much needed reform and oversight to the privatized military housing industry and ensure that our military families have the support they need to thrive.”
“It is our duty to make sure that those who serve and sacrifice, including servicemembers and their family members, have safe, clean, and well-maintained housing,” said Congressman Panetta. “Our bipartisan legislation will improve oversight of privatized military housing provided by the Department of Defense, and increase transparency and communication for military families.”
“As Fort Bragg’s Congressman, I was outraged when I learned of poor housing conditions on our military bases,” said Congressman Hudson. “It is completely unacceptable for our service members and their families to have anything less than high-quality, safe homes. This legislation improves oversight and brings much-needed transparency and accountability, and it’s a step in the right direction to make things right for military families.”
In addition to Senator Cortez Masto in the Senate and Representatives Panetta and Hudson in the House, Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.-2), Denny Heck (D-Wash.-10), Anthony Brown (D-Md.-4), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.-18), Van Taylor (R-Texas-3), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.-4) and John Carter (R-Texas-31) are also cosponsors of the legislation. The Better Military Housing Act has the support of representatives from the districts that house four out of the five largest military instillations in the contiguous U.S.
The Better Military Housing Act of 2019 would increase the Department of Defense’s oversight of the health, safety and quality of privatized military housing by improving military housing contracts, establishing standard metrics for evaluating housing safety and quality, and ensuring military families have the support and accountability they need to report housing issues to military leadership. The legislation also calls for a study on long-term solutions to improve privatized military housing contracts.
This bill is a final product of engagement the Senator led in Nevada after learning about housing maintenance challenges at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Senator Cortez Masto also passed legislation to improve housing on military bases in the 115th Congress.