Sen. Warner hopes legislation brings military housing improvements

Virginia News

(WRIC) — Sen. Mark Warner visited Fort Lee Friday amid ongoing complaints from families about “sickening conditions” in military housing.

Following what he described as a “disappointing visit” in April 2019, a number of military families have reported that “nothing has changed.” They say dangerous mold, plumbing issues and more have been making their loved ones sick for months.

Military wife Patty Santos, in addition to others, say they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.

“Basically clean it yourself, or live with it,” Santos said. “I’m pretty disappointed.”

Sen. Warner expected greater improvements but says “the fact that I’m here and hearing stories of families still in homes with a huge amount of mold two weeks ago and families being put out of their homes three, four times, even since I visited last April, means we’ve got a long way to go.”

Roughly seven companies own the homes on Fort Lee, including Hunt Properties. However, calls remain for the managing company to do better.

“We can’t just continue to ask our soldiers to live in these conditions on an ongoing basis,” Warner said.

At a roundtable held Friday, representatives from Hunt Properties say they have been improving and some soldiers agree.

“There have been, I think, some better inspections,” Warner said.

A new federal law taking effect in spring will give military families the power to withhold paying property owners if their complaints aren’t addressed.

“I expect this law to be implemented and I expect to be back here within 90 days to see more results,” Warner added.

Sen. Warner hopes the new law will force property management to make their homes safer. He said he plans to return on base to ensure the law is being followed.

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