Military housing a privilege that requires commitment

by Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Simple things like pulling weeds, calling in work orders and proper trash disposal may seem obvious to most of us, but small issues not addressed in a timely manner can quickly become a large problem that impacts the entire community. 

The Kaiserslautern Military Community Housing Office is charged with ensuring the proper maintenance of those housing facilities; however, residents play a key role by reporting maintenance items and performing basic home repairs.

“Recently, during weekly exterior inspections, it has been noticed that some residents are not keeping their homes and yards up to standard,” said Ms. Karen Leonard, KMC Housing Director. “Also, residents are leaving exterior lights on during daylight hours, incurring unnecessary utility expenses.” 

Residents receive a checklist and briefing on interior and exterior requirements once keys are accepted.

They are responsible for the exterior needs such as grass mowing, watering, weeding flowerbeds and ensuring patios and back yards are neat and orderly.  
Common deficiencies include, yard clutter, overgrown hedges and trimming/edging along sidewalks and curbs. 

In a recent letter to KMC housing residents, Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon, KMC commander, laid out the rules and consequences for not providing the proper base housing maintenance.

Housing residents that fail to comply with housing standards will be found in violation and face the possibility of losing their residence in military housing.

“Very simply; it is three strikes and you’re out,” the letter outlined.

While this solid stance may raise some eyebrows, it is important to understand that letting problems like these fester could cost years on the life of a base house and millions in repair expenses even costing the success of future improvement projects.

 “We want all residents to enjoy their homes and treat them like their own,” said Ron Uecker, Ramstein Chief Housing Facilities.

And many residents are doing just that, so there are programs in place to ensure those actions are rewarded.

Following monthly inspections of parking, trash areas, landscaping, porch/patio and general exterior the command chief awards a townhouse and a stairwell of the month.

Outside of just the general pride in receiving the award, families will also receive an AAFES coupon book valued at more than $170, as well as recognition in various publications.

It is the Air Force’s goal to ensure safe, adequate homes for servicemembers and their families. As part of that goal here at Ramstein, 690 of 852 planned townhouses have been built and occupied. 

The remaining 162 townhouses are expected to be completed by spring/summer of 2011. In addition, playgrounds, lighted walking trails, exercise stations, sports courts, and grill huts have been added to enhance community appeal.
Housing Management will retain 789 renovated multiplex units for a total of 1,641 on-base units.

If you are interested in more information about resident responsibility call Housing Management at 489-7108 or e-mail the organizational box