As part of an ongoing Army wide effort to assess conditions in Army family housing, Fort Riley’s leadership held town halls on Feb. 26 and 27 to provide information and gain resident feedback.
Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general; Col. Stephen Shrader, Fort Riley garrison commander; Steve Milton, Director of Housing Services at Fort Riley; and Angela Watson, Corvias director of operations, answered questions and addressed concerns from Soldiers and their families regarding various housing issues.
During the town hall meetings, Maj. Gen. Kolasheski referred frequently to a recent statement from Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper, “Our most sacred obligation as Army leaders is to take care of our people – our Soldiers and our family members.” “We are committed to living up to those responsibilities,” Kolasheski affirmed. “We will make good on the discussions that we’re having.” Kolasheski informed attendees, “From company to division, this is commanders’ business. I welcome the dialogue and will not tolerate any reprisal against a community member who voices a concern. Anyone who believes they’ve been discouraged from participating should immediately contact their chain of command so it can be investigated.”
Col. Shrader encouraged all residents to use the existing reporting systems to request maintenance of their homes, and encourages candid feedback.
“If we don’t know about a maintenance problem,” Shrader explained, “we can’t fix it.”
Since Feb. 21, housing assistance teams are visiting homes in each of Fort Riley’s neighborhoods, speaking with residents to assess the condition of the homes and determine if there are problems that need to be addressed. As of Feb. 28, these teams have assessed more than 44 percent of homes, with the goal of speaking with each of the residents of the more than 3,500 homes currently occupied on Fort Riley.
“At the end of the day, we want to hear from our residents. We’ve been listening loud and clear and that’s the whole purpose of this operation,” Shrader added.
More than 100 people attended the two town hall events with many more tuned in and commenting via livestream. Most of the questions and comments focused on policies, fees and deposits, with some concerns about the timeliness of response to maintenance requests.
In a recent annual survey, residents at Fort Riley gave Corvias an 85% approval rating, amongst the highest in the Army’s privatized housing. A review of work order requests showed no ongoing issues affecting life, health or safety.