Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-2) introduced H.R. 4608, the Military Housing Oversight and Accountability Act to help ensure our men and women in uniform have the peace of mind of safe and comfortable housing for their families. Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-3) is an original cosponsor of the legislation, which now will be considered by the House Armed Services Committee.
"We have a deep obligation to speak boldly on behalf of our men and women in uniform," said Rigell, who represents the largest concentration of men and women in uniform. "For all that they have done to defend us, we must do everything we can to defend them. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to incorporate this important bill into the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act."
"We owe our military families safe and clean housing," said Rep. Bobby Scott. "This bill will better ensure that military housing privatization projects are effectively overseen, regulated, and held accountable when issues arise."
The Military Housing Oversight and Accountability Act will provide the Service Secretaries the authority to promulgate regulations to effectively oversee and manage military housing privatization projects in the sustainment phase.
Current law only directs the Service Secretaries to prescribe regulations to effectively oversee and manage military housing privatization projects during the construction and renovation phase. The Military Housing Oversight and Accountability Act fills this gap, as oversight does not end with construction or renovation but continues through sustainment.
This important legislation grants great latitude to the Services, while requiring the following matters to be covered by the regulations:
* The financial health and performance of the military housing privatization project, including the debt-coverage ratio of the project and occupancy rates for the constructed or renovated housing units.
* A resident satisfaction assessment of the privatization project.
* An assessment of the backlog of maintenance and repair.
The Military Housing Oversight and Accountability Act provides the Services an excellent opportunity to capitalize on lessons learned and implement them in an open, accountable process.
The legislation also requires the Service Secretary concerned or designated representative to ensure the project owner, developer, or general contractor has sustainment experience commensurate with that required to maintain the project.