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Fort Hood hosts town hall meeting to discuss housing concerns

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 18:30:29-04

FORT HOOD, TX — Dozens of families who call “The Great Place” home attended a town hall meeting to voice concerns over living conditions.

Mold, asbestos, and lead paint were among the issues reported.

The brigade commander from each housing community gave updates on the needs of their units- highlighting their needs and progress.

“We want to make sure that the chain of command here on Fort Hood is absolutely committed. That every soldier assigned here has a safe place to live that’s comparable to the service of the soldier’s here on Fort Hood,” said Col. Clete Goetz, representing Venable Village.

The Fletcher family is staying in a hotel after mold and water issues came to a head.

“Pretty much said we had to be out of our house because the next day the bolts started falling out of our carport,” said Fatriziera Uitenham-Fletcher.

With two young children, it has created a financial strain and a spiraling impact.

“The support system that we had on post isn’t readily available now that we’re off post,” said Uitenham-Fletcher.

A common thread discussed at the past town hall meetings is fear of retaliation.

“Sometimes there’s an impression amongst our soldiers, particularly our younger soldiers, that if they go to their chain of command with a problem, that the chain of command is going to come back on them for speaking the truth. And nothing could be further from the truth,” said Col. Goetz.

Lt. Gen. Pat White said there are 10 families with serious and complex housing issues. He said the post is committed to finding solutions to help those who face a vulnerable situation.

There are 5,680 housing units on Fort Hood. Each housing community will have individual meetings with their brigades planned in the coming weeks.

“I can’t control the workforce, but I can surely make it hard on them if we’re not delivering what’s supposed to be delivered. So I got a little bit of frustration with that, I’ll be honest,” said Lt. Gen. White.

Military housing came under fire back in February, which prompted a nationwide investigation. The Secretary of the Army called military base housing conditions "unconscionable" during a hearing. Mandatory housing inspections nationwide were ordered.