The company, Balfour Beatty Communities LLC, falsified its performance data and destroyed resident comment cards so it could pocket performance incentive fees from the Army, Air Force and Navy, according to the Department of Justice
Despite mismanaging homes across the military and getting paid millions of dollars while doing it, Balfour Beatty will keep its post for the foreseeable future. In fact, most contracts between the company and military bases will last another 40 or 50 years or sometimes longer
The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District and the Justice Department says Balfour Beatty engaged in a scheme to alter maintenance records so it looked like the company was meeting goals required for its financial incentive bonuses from its properties on 55 different Army, Navy, and Air Force bases around the United States.
“The spirit of the tenant bill of rights was enacted to assist military families fighting for adequate housing, but instead created excessive red tape,” said Sarah Lynne Kline, co-founder and community outreach director for the nonprofit Armed Forces Housing Advocates. “
One of the largest military housing providers pleaded guilty to defrauding the military and agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars in restitution to military families for not performing repairs and ignoring dangerous living conditions.
While many would be celebrating a slugger shot for military families, a fledgling housing advocacy group is seeing the end of the lawsuit as just the beginning.
Since 2017, at least 18 children have been injured from window falls in Navy and Marine Corps privatized housing...The falls have continued in spite of a 2018 law meant to prevent the problem, which Congress enacted in response to earlier accidents.
“For decades, housing has been one of the largest challenges for veterans transitioning from military service to civilian life, particularly in competitive rental markets. Any action we can take to help ease that process and remove barriers for servicemembers and vets looking for housing helps,” said Rep. Sherrill.
In February, the secretary of defense and uniformed services secretaries signed the tenant bill of rights, but only the first 15 rights had been implemented. The last three rights are the most needed and most important. They include resident access to maintenance history, a process for dispute resolution, and establishing residents' ability to withhold rent.
A group of families living in Scott Air Force Base housing complained earlier this month to base leadership about racist incidents and policies they say are discriminatory against people of color and LGBTQ people.
“We have worked with around 1000 families and counting,” Needham told TODAY Parents of efforts to assist displaced families, adding that their latest focus is to assist families into homes on a different area of the island where the water is not impacted.