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Keesler revamps programs, processes to address housing concerns

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

In an effort to improve management and oversight of Keesler Family Housing, leadership here outlined their plan to address resident’s concerns during two housing forums on March 18.

These forums brought leadership from the base, resident advocate office, and Hunt together to outline the changes that will be made and to address questions or concerns of housing residents.

The leadership team began the forums by announcing new initiatives and plans for further changes in the near future.

“We want to ensure the homes are the best they can be,” said Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander. “We want to make the homes a place where residents want to live and a place where they feel safe.”

The team identified several changes that could be implemented immediately including making 100 percent direct contact with all residents to assess their concerns and needs. Keesler leadership will also meet with Hunt weekly to go over any open work orders that involve resident’s health and safety.

“We noticed gaps between where the project owner thinks they are and where our residents think they are, and we are making these changes to help close that gap,” said Quigley.

The base will also overhaul a number of information resources such as the Keesler Air Force Base’s app and introduce the “1-2-3” family housing resolution process.

“This process is an easy to understand guide to help residents work through any problem they are having with their homes,” said Quigley.

If residents don’t feel they are getting resolution after calling the local Hunt maintenance office, which is the first step, step two is to talk to Hunt corporate. They will work to address the concerns of their residents. If residents are still unhappy with the status of their issue, step three is the government resident advocacy team.

“The resident advocacy team is our military team dedicated to addressing residents’ concerns on their behalf with Hunt,” said Quigley.

But, Quigley said, this process runs parallel to the military chain of command process.
“At any time during these steps, residents should feel comfortable involving their chain of command,” Quigley said. “The chain of command will work with you to ensure you know all avenues to finding a resolution and will route any concerns up the chain to expedite resolution.”

The Air Force has also set up a housing call center that can be reached at 1-800-482-6431.

Based on feedback from residents, Keesler is also planning a number of larger changes including an opportunity for residents to get more involved with their housing community via a resident advisory council. This council will be a key link between each housing community, Keesler leadership, and Hunt.

Furthermore, the resident advocate office, formerly known as the housing management office, will seek to hire additional employees to exceed requirements and provide a safe and prosperous environment for Keesler families.

“They are a government representative, but their main responsibility is to be an advocate for our residents,” said Quigley.

The leadership team is also focusing on solutions that will take slightly longer to address, but are important to building the community we want for Keesler families. Upon moving into Keesler Family Housing, residents are provided with a handbook that provides general information about their home. This handbook contains information that is valuable, but not tailored to Keesler. In the future, residents will receive the standard handbook along with a Keesler specific addendum that will provide directions for the specific aspects of the home here at Keesler.

The leadership team has also heard the concerns about security in the off-base housing areas and they are currently evaluating multiple options. Residents will be provided information about these plans as they are finalized.

Finally, the leadership team seeks to continuously receive feedback from residents and will conduct semi-annual reviews of resident’s satisfaction to ensure the housing program continues to improve.