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I-TEAM: Fort Gordon leaders hold first meeting with families since hearing

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Fort Gordon held its first town hall meeting on housing since a hearing on Capitol Hill put housing conditions on post in the national spotlight.

Our I-TEAM has been exposing problems with the private company in charge for more than a decade.

Our Meredith Anderson has learned none of this was to be discussed Thursday night.

The meeting does include representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities, the company that came under fire in the hearing. But before things started, leaders said they would not comment on the investigation.

This is the first time Fort Gordon’s garrison commander, Col. Shaw Pick, has addressed the investigation since the hearing back in April.

Pick issued this statement:

“Recent events surrounding Army Privatized Housing have generated significant interest and attention into the issues families are experiencing in Post Housing. This is an opportunity to highlight our challenges to senior leaders and improve the situation for families residing in Fort Gordon’s homes. We remain laser-focused on doing everything we can with BBC and Army Housing to ensure residents receive responsive, transparent, and empathetic treatment- if we fall short, we expect to be held accountable. There have been many questions about investigations of BBC and legal actions currently underway. FT Gordon cannot and will not comment on these, as they are not FT Gordon’s actions. The Army investigation is being conducted by Army Materiel Command, so any inquiries would need to be directed to that HQ. Fort Gordon is not involved in any legal proceedings, so we have nothing to add on that topic. My commitment to advocating for Army families is ironclad. It is my mission. If a family has an issue in their home that they feel has not been addressed by BBC, they need to bring it to me and my team in the Garrison Housing Office. While each case is different and I cannot promise you a particular outcome, what I can promise you is this- You will be heard. I will sit across the table from you and listen to your concerns and my team will work with BBC to develop options for you to choose from. What I need from you, the Resident, is a willingness to consider options that will address your concern. If you come to me with a single demand, you vastly narrow my ability to solve your issue. If you ultimately feel we have no homes you feel are safe for your family, we will help you relocate off the installation. Just be willing to work with us is all we ask. Lastly- there will be zero retaliation against any family tolerated. You have my word on that.”

During the hearing, one father testified under oath his daughter has a skin condition after living in a home with mold at Fort Gordon.

Choe Family- Balfour Beatty
Choe Family- Balfour Beatty(WRDW)

He told the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations doctors say it could be fatal.

MORE THAN A DECADE OF I-TEAM COVERAGE:

Military families tell us they’re frustrated there wasn’t much notice about Thursday’s town hall. It was just posted Wednesday on Facebook.

They also tell us that other installations, like Fort Meade, meet once a month to talk about housing. This is only Fort Gordon’s third housing town hall meeting this year. They encouraged families to post questions beforehand.

Meanwhile, the I-TEAM hasn’t stopped digging.

These are recent photos of a woman who lived on the same street as the little girl with the skin condition. This was after the hearing. We’re told the housing problems at Fort Gordon have gone from bad to worse.

Friday on News 12 at 6 o’clock, we’ll bring you her story and the story of two other families fighting for safe living conditions as we speak.

Service members and their families that need to reach out to Sen. Jon Ossoff’s office for help, visit Ossoff.Senate.

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