HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force makes more rights available for housing tenants

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS),--The Department of the Air Force is implementing the remaining four rights for housing tenants including a universal lease, a process to resolve disputes with property owners and procedures for withholding rent when applicable.

The Department of Defense issued policy guidance in February 2021 on the implementation and timing of the remaining four provisions of the Tenant Bill of Rights, which expands protection measures for military families living in privatized housing. Along with the universal lease and dispute resolution process, the Tenant Bill of Rights ensures access to unit maintenance history, and establishes a process to withhold rent payment while in formal dispute resolution.

With a few exceptions, the Air Force expects all 18 tenant rights to be available to tenants in all Air and Space Force housing programs by the end of Fiscal Year 2021.

The expanded rights protect tenants and offer recourse if their housing concerns are not adequately addressed, said Col. Sara Deaver, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Housing Division chief.

“Empowering tenants and amplifying their voice is at the heart of the department’s comprehensive plan to improve the privatized housing program,” Deaver said. “The Tenant Bill of Rights is our assurance to our Air Force and Space Force families that we recognize their rights and their needs as tenants, and that those needs are our top priority.”

The universal lease standardizes the general contents of the privatized housing lease from installation to installation. The maintenance history provision grants prospective and existing tenants seven years of available maintenance history before a prospective tenant is asked to sign a lease or within five business days of an existing tenant’s request. The formal dispute resolution process creates a structure for tenants to pursue disputes with project owners, and the rent withhold clause allows service members to withhold their housing allowance in certain instances while the dispute is being resolved.

“If tenants feel their rights are not being met, they should start by communicating the issue directly to the landlord,” said Yvonne Brabham, Air Force Housing Division technical director.

“Solving problems at the lowest level typically yields the quickest results,” Brabham said. “If the landlord hasn’t resolved the issue after a follow-up call, they should escalate the issue to their military housing office.”

If the military housing office and other resources, like resident advocates, are unable to resolve the issue, the MHO can escalate the issue within both the military chain of command and the landlord’s management structure. If tenants feel the issue is not being resolved at the local level, they can contact the Air Force housing section’s toll-free hotline at 800-482-6431 and AFCEC will investigate the problem.

As the DAF’s housing program managers, AFCEC plays a central role in ensuring tenants are able to execute the rights outlined in the bill. Since 2019, program leaders have been executing an improvement plan consisting of 51 housing initiatives aimed at ensuring Airmen, Guardians and their families have access to safe, healthy housing.

“We’ve worked hard to overhaul the housing program to rectify shortfalls and strengthen our commitment to Airmen, Guardians and families,” Brabham said. “Today’s program has more oversight and leadership involvement, clear policies, better communication and puts more power in tenants’ hands.”

“With policy guidance now in place for the final four rights, the department is closing in on the finish line to fully implement all 51 improvement actions enterprise wide,” said Robert Moriarty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations.

“We've implemented all measures at most of our installations and are working with those project owners to create state-specific addenda to ensure the final rights comply with state and local law,” Moriarty said.

The Air Force is continuing to work with project owners to obtain agreements on the final provisions at the remaining installations and with few exceptions, expect those rights to be accessible for all tenants across the DAF by October.

 

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.