FORT HOOD, TX — Fort Hood is one of the largest military installations in the United States and that means it is home to thousands of soldiers and their families.
Some soldiers and their families who live in homes on Fort Hood are happy to be there while others are suing the private housing company that run the homes.
Fort Hood Family Housing, which is part of the global real estate and investment group Lendlease, is responsible for thousands of properties on Fort Hood that have become home to our nation's heroes and their families.
”We’ve got 5,617 homes here on Fort Hood. It's one of the largest projects in the Lendlease portfolio,” said Chris Albus, Fort Hood Family Housing Project Director.
Those homes are run by a private company, but a large number of soldiers also live in the barracks on post.
”Barracks are the places that our soldiers that are in the ranks of sergeant or lower and are unmarried live. All in all, we have beds for about 15,000 soldiers,” said Fort Hood Public Works Director Brian Dosa.
Fort Hood Family Housing, who is responsible for the homes that are not barracks, are currently in a lawsuit with families that say the properties were poorly maintained and, in some cases, unsafe to live in.
”There is pervasive mold throughout the properties, there is rampant water leaks and there’s insect infestations and those conditions are destroying the household goods and personal effects that those people have. As well as making them sick,” said Ryan Reed, lawyer for the families.
Mold is also something the Army says they have to deal with regularly due to outdated HVAC systems in the old barracks.
”So we end up spending a lot of time and money repairing those systems. They are more given to producing mold. If we have mold in any barrack on Fort Hood, we take it seriously,” said Fort Hood Public Works Director Brian Dosa.
It's something the lawyers representing over 100 families say Fort Hood Family Housing is not doing.
”The manner in which Fort Hood Family Housing operates has destroyed their personal effects. It has injured their children and Fort Hood Family Housing, by continuing to fight the process as they are, is continuing to rub salt in the wound,” said Ryan Reed, lawyer for the families.
Fort Hood Family Housing declined to comment on ongoing litigation but say they are dedicated to improving the properties.
”We’re improving what we’re doing here on Fort Hood. We’ve hired an additional 35 employees. Including an environmental care manager, a customer care manager to deal with residence and also a community events manager,” said Chris Albus, Fort Hood Family Housing Project Director.
This story is part of an ongoing series and will be updated.