New Siding for Air Force Houses … But What’s Underneath?


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A tipster sent these photos to JQP along with the following message:

“Columbus AFB housing is putting on new siding in many of the on base neighborhoods. Here are a few photos of what was found beneath the siding before they put the new stuff back on. Hunt Properties … [which] runs base housing, will not respond to residents when they call and ask about the situation. It seems they wanted to get the new siding on and cover up the damage to the homes ASAP.”

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This doesn’t look too good. If indeed housing officials are slapping new siding over this stuff and covering it up without fixing it, that would seem to fall short of wing commander Col. John Nichols’ guidance to “[m]ake everything you touch better.”

Most concerning is the charge that officials are not responding to complaints from the community to take care of this stuff — or at the very least acknowledge and explain it. If you’re impacted, I encourage you to email Community Manager Kessler Cowans and ask her personally what is being done to investigate and remedy what would appear to be serious deficiencies in the quality of housing provided to service members and their families.

Privatized housing has been a rough road for many Air Force families and for the organization itself. It was supposed to reduce costs for both the DoD and families while getting bases out of the business of building and maintaining houses. This, it was promised at the time, would give communities better support.

But in many cases, service members aren’t saving any money, aren’t getting a good product in exchange for their housing allowance, and remain tethered to base support agencies for help. Those agencies, more stressed than ever, lack the resources to help a whole lot, even if they didn’t have additional layers of red tape to wade through to get anything done.

The Air Force needs to take a look at whether it’s getting what it paid for (or more precisely, what taxpayers funded on its behalf) … and whether military families are getting taken for a ride.

See also: mushrooms growing from the baseboards of newly-built houses at Hurlburt Field?

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