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Fort Meade: Army implements full Tenant Bill of Rights at 36 installations | COMMENTARY

Fort Meade George G. Meade has fully implemented all 18 elements of the Tenant Bill of Rights for residents living in housing managed and maintained by Corvias, the installation’s housing partner.

The U.S. Army announced it had completed implementation of the Department of Defense’s Tenant Bill of Rights, which was adopted following the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

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The announcement, in early June, indicated that the Tenant Bill of Rights had been fully implemented at 36 installations, including Fort Meade. There are a total of 44 Army installations that have privatized family housing. The Army expects to add an additional installation to the list within the coming weeks. The remaining installations have implemented at least 15 of the rights, with the last three elements (universal lease, dispute resolution and rent segregation) expected to be implemented by the end of July 2021.

For Fort Meade residents living in housing managed and maintained by Corvias, the housing partner announced it has completed implementation of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Tenant Bill of Rights, which was adopted following the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA).

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“I am excited that the Army and Corvias have reached this benchmark,” states Col. Chris Nyland, Fort Meade garrison commander. “The Tenant Bill of Rights is a critical step in the right direction, and I look forward to the continued partnership between the residents, the Garrison, and Corvias to improve the housing and overall quality of life in our Ft. Meade community.”

All active duty service members residing in Corvias-managed military family housing now have access to the full complement of rights, including a formal and informal dispute resolution process that allows service members to withhold their housing allowance while the dispute is being resolved. Service members can also review the seven-year maintenance history information prior to leasing a home on their installation.

“For the last two years, we have been working with our Army and Air Force partners to ensure that the active duty service members who call our installations home have equal access to all 18 rights adopted by Congress and DOD in the Tenant Bill of Rights. The programs and initiatives that implement these rights reinforce our continuing commitment to provide quality housing and fair treatment to all of our residents,” said Holly Costello, senior vice president Corvias Property Management, which provides on-post housing for more than 84,000 residents. “Bringing these additional provisions to life has been a tremendous undertaking that has required coordination across all locations, with other military housing providers, and with both of our partner Services of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.”

To make sure residents are informed about implementation of these new provisions, Corvias Property Management has posted community announcements and sent emails to every resident for which it provides operations and maintenance services, including residents at the U.S. Army bases of Fort Riley (Kansas), Fort Sill (Oklahoma), Fort Polk (Louisiana), Fort Rucker (Alabama), Fort Bragg (North Carolina, Fort Meade (Maryland) and Aberdeen Proving Ground (Maryland), plus U.S. Air Force bases of Edwards AFB (California), Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field (Florida), Eielson AFB (Alaska), McConnell AFB (Kansas) and Seymour Johnson AFB (North Carolina).

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In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required the Secretary of Defense, in concert with the secretaries of the military departments, to create a Tenant Bill of Rights and ensure its implementation by the private housing companies that own and manage homes on military installations.

“The Army obtained agreement on implementing all of the Tenant Bill of Rights at 82% of our installations so far, and will continue to work toward implementing the remaining tenant rights at the other installations,” said J.E. ‘Jack’ Surash, acting assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. “People are our No. 1 priority, and enacting these rights will improve the quality of life of our Soldiers and their families.”

In addition to the tenant rights, a plain language brief is given to every new tenant at lease signing, and again at the 30-day mark, by their Army housing offices to clearly explain the tenants’ rights. This program is in place at all installations.

“The Fort Meade Installation Housing Office has always especially valued that part of our job in which we get to work hands on with our residents,” said Aimee Stafford, acting Fort Meade housing officer. “This implementation will help to formalize that process and support putting people first.”

“Our soldiers and families deserve safe, high-quality housing,” Surash said. “We will continue to encourage our residents to provide feedback through online tenant satisfaction surveys and town hall meetings, and to report housing issues through the Army Housing Online User Services app, our 24/7 telephone hotline and through their local housing offices.”

Fort Meade privatized housing residents can get more information by contacting the installation housing office at 301-677-7748 / 4783. Parts of this story are from a Corvias release which can be accessed at Corvias Enacts Remaining Tenant Bill of Rights Provisions for Military Housing.

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