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Tenant Bill of Rights for military families living on post delayed

Military families are still struggling with private contractors and on-post housing after the...
Military families are still struggling with private contractors and on-post housing after the Department of Defense delayed the final protections of the new housing Bill of Rights to September 30.(Alex Gibbs)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:57 PM CDT
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Military families are still struggling with private contractors and on-post housing after the Department of Defense delayed the final protections of the new housing Bill of Rights to September 30.

The Defense Department says because these companies are signed into existing long-term contracts with the military, they cannot force these companies to accept the changes. They must voluntarily agree to them.

Army Wife Courtney Hamilton says that while she’s happy that Lendlease and Fort Hood have fully implemented the new tenant Bill of Rights, the fight is not over yet.

“I’m pretty frustrated that the DoD is not pushing them harder,” she said.

“Soldiers and their families are struggling here and you’re giving these billion-dollar companies more time to not follow the law.”

Other installations around the country have all but four tenant Bill of Rights delayed, including the right to withhold rent until disputes are resolved, a clearly defined dispute resolution process, seven years of maintenance history records and a standard lease.

Sarah Kline with the Military Housing Advocates Network says these remaining rights are critical to helping hundreds of families still struggling for help.

“Really what we have here is legislation without reform,” she said.

“There are some private military housing companies that’re doing better than others with the new Bill of Rights. So really, the only thing that’s gonna happen is that money talks. Not being able to have a stream of income because contracts are being cancelled is what will solve the problem.”

An idea that Hamilton says she and other Fort Hood families will help push for moving forward.

“If these companies can’t agree to these terms, they should have their contracts removed,” she said.

“I think these are reasonable requests that’ve been made.”

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