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Town hall addresses base housing problems and enduring solutions

Base housing resident Amanda Williams uses the public comment portion of the meeting to ask leadership from Balfour Beatty Community questions about how they plan to repair the maintenance problems residents have been facing during a resident-only town hall meeting April 3 at the Tinker Event Center, formerly the Tinker Club.

Base housing resident Amanda Williams uses the public comment portion of the meeting to ask leadership from Balfour Beatty Community questions about how they plan to repair the maintenance problems residents have been facing during a resident-only town hall meeting April 3 at the Tinker Event Center, formerly the Tinker Club.

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Tinker Air Force Base residents gathered at the Tinker Club last week for a resident-only town hall meeting led by 72nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Kenyon Bell to address ongoing problems with military housing.

“We’re working with BBC (Balfour Beatty Communities) to make sure that we make significant changes to the way that we go about addressing the concerns that are taking place within military family housing,” Bell said.

Leadership from BBC, the company that manages military housing on Tinker, was also in attendance at the meeting to lay out their plan to move forward and how they will attempt to gain back the trust of housing residents. They were also available to answer questions and hear complaints from residents who demanded answers for how the management company plans to address the problems that are occurring in some homes.

Some of these problems include mold infestations that have been causing health problems for those living in base housing, water leaks and damage from faulty PEX lines, brown water and issues with rodents and ants.

Numerous residents related specific situations of how their families have been impacted by these housing issues. Residents took full advantage to state their grievances with BBC while Vice President of Operations Raul Martinez fielded questions and offered to visit the homes of interested residents the following day along with Project Director Rick Linio and Resident Engagement Specialist Kerry Martinez to assess and work toward a remedy for their specific situations.

“I’ve been working very closely with Air Force leadership to help and assist with the corrective actions here,” Martinez said. “It’s very important to me and this company to work really hard to earn this trust back and we have a lot of things in place that are going to help make sure that standard of operation and customer service is maintained.”

BBC is taking steps to ensure better customer service and operation standards are met, which includes the addition of new positions to the company’s staff. These positions include a quality control position that will work as a spot checker for workmanship on maintenance work done to a home, a regional facility manager who will work out of an office at Tinker to support the maintenance department and ensure compliance and additional maintenance positions.

There will also be changes in communication including maintenance requests being entered through an online Resident Portal and closed out by residents when the work is completed to their satisfaction, as well as a tiered system for maintenance requests and a six-point-system for having those requests addressed.

The first point of contact for residents to have issues addressed will be through the BBC resident portal. Entering requests on the portal will negate any issues of conflicting reports regarding maintenance requests.

If nothing is done to address the maintenance problem after attempts to contact BBC, residents can contact the Housing Management Office, government advocates and representatives who can interact with BBC and continue to elevate the issue through the civil engineering chain of command.

The final stop for housing problems that continue to go unresolved is Bell, who said they should never get to that point. He also emphasized that residents can always reach out to their commanders with housing problems they may be facing. Residents should contact their chain of command at any point they are unsatisfied with the condition of their homes. Four additional manpower positions and a resident advocate will be added to assist in supporting resident concerns.

Residents also have the option of contacting a housing call center external to the base at 1-800-482-6431 and there is now a Resident Bill of Rights for military housing residents. This list includes the right to a well-maintained and comfortable home, a clean and attractive community with well-maintained amenity spaces and convenient methods of communication with BBC management. The full Resident Bill of Rights can be found at tinkerafbhomes.com.

BBC has a variety of projects planned for 2019 aimed and improving curb appeal and enhancing home features that include repair and replacement work on roads, curbs, sidewalks and gutters, installation of a retaining wall and “smart scaping” to address soil erosion and tree trimming, removal and planting.

BBC also plans to replace windows, roofs, siding HVAC systems and exterior painting in the McNarney neighborhood.

There will be another town hall meeting for residents in May to follow up on the progress being made.