Fort Jackson family homes improvements continue

Malk Miller, a technician with Fort Jackson Family Homes heads inside a Fort Jackson unit with the proper tools to fix a faulty dishwasher Feb. 18. Miller, who has worked for over a year in military housing, performs regular maintenance in housing to ensure military Families have and maintain suitable and safe housing. (Photo by Ms. Taylor Marie Smith/Fort Jackson)
February 20, 2020

Although there have been some issues with military housing in the past year, officials are cracking down and trying to find solutions for these problems. Some of these measures include getting maintenance orders filled in a more timely and efficient manner.

On-post housing used to be government owned and operated. However, in the 90s’, much of that became privatized. Housing on Fort Jackson is operated by Balfour Beatty Communities – now called Fort Jackson Family Homes.

In response to complaints about slow turn-around time regarding work orders, Fort Jackson Family Homes has taken several steps towards improvement. This includes hiring a quality control specialist and a new regional facility manager, hiring more maintenance workers, and providing more training to employees.

Malk Miller is a technician that specializes in HVAC and plumbing for houses. He was at a resident’s house Feb. 18 to fulfill a work order on a dishwasher, which is routine maintenance. “I like serving and I like what I do for a living. I like helping people out,” said Miller.

When a resident has a maintenance issue that needs to be fixed, they can either call in or email a work order to housing authorities. For emergency work orders, like a lack of hot water, technicians have up to an hour to get to a resident’s home; for urgent matters, there’s a four hour turn around. Finally, routine maintenance has to be completed within 48 hours.

The resident, who wished to remain nameless, said she was impressed with how fast a technician was sent look at her dishwasher.

“Before, it could have taken weeks or even months to get something looked at. This time, it only took a day,” she said.

Post leadership takes housing issues seriously even though Fort Jackson housing doesn’t have the same amount or levels of issues as other installations like Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Meade, Maryland.

In 2019, Fort Jackson leaders reached out to residents of all 850 on-post quarters to personally assess their living conditions. Residents in 810 units either allowed the visits or communicated with leaders. Installation leadership also established a 24-hour hotline to elevate any life, health and safety issues. Residents can also address issues, concerns or questions directly to garrison leaders by using the Interactive Customer Evaluations system.

Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., post commander, also hosts quarterly housing town halls to allow residents to raise their concerns directly to installation leaders. The next town hall is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 17 at Victory Hall.