Under a vast privatization program, the Pentagon promised quality housing for service members. But shoddy workmanship, raw sewage, rotten wood and chronic leaks mar the $3.4 billion building boom, putting residents’ health at risk.
By M.B. PELL and DEBORAH NELSON Filed Dec. 21, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma –
Here, near the heart of America’s “Tornado Alley,” an Air Force contractor built 398 new homes less than a decade ago, bankrolled as part of the U.S. government’s vow of safe shelter for the men and women who serve.
Today the collection of cookie-cutter duplexes is showing declines more typical of aged and neglected housing. Last spring, just six years after landlord Balfour Beatty Communities finished construction, the company was forced to start replacing every foot of water line in each house to fix systemic plumbing failures. In September, the company and Air Force inspected the tiny rooms where heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment is housed. Half had mold or water damage. Residents complain of leaks, mold, rodents and cockroaches.