Funding shortfalls force prioritization of housing maintenance

To preserve resources for critical services, like water leaks, fire and smoke alarm systems, and other issues affecting life health and safety, housing maintenance services in other areas have been limited.
To preserve resources for critical services, like water leaks, fire and smoke alarm systems, and other issues affecting life health and safety, housing maintenance services in other areas have been limited.

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Due to funding shortfalls in the Army-wide family housing budget for fiscal year 2015, housing maintenance services are currently limited to Priority 1 service orders; those that address conditions that present a danger to life, health or safety.

Service orders for any sort of water or heating outages, or critical broken appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers will still be done, as will any service orders for major electrical outages, according to Glenn Mitchell, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart director of housing services.

All services are expected to return to normal with fiscal year 2016 funding beginning in October.

Customers can continue to call in service orders and the service orders will be entered into the database, but only the Priority 1 service orders will be acted on until the funding shortfall is addressed.

These funding shortfalls have also caused the closure of all of the housing self-help stores until further notice. Basic, critical household items like light bulbs and other small maintenance supplies can be purchased at the Exchange, Exchange Express stores or off-base at home improvement stores for prices comparable to those found in the U.S. Customers may also wait for a possible resolution to funding that would re-open the self-help stores.

Change of occupancy maintenance is also currently not being done, however there is an inventory of suitable housing for most lower-enlisted families. This housing has had change of occupancy maintenance completed.

If housing that has had proper change of occupancy maintenance is not available, families will be provided a Certificate of Non-Availability to seek off-post housing options. Those families will be provided all of the housing referral services associated with that process.

As an alternative, families may request to view units that have not had change of occupancy maintenance. If they find the quarters suitable for them, they may voluntarily accept the quarters as-is. They will be given a statement of as-is acceptance and the move-in condition of the quarters will be documented. When they vacate the quarters those families will be allowed to turn those quarters in as-is, as long as the condition matches what was documented at acceptance.

For families clearing housing, the quarters must still be brought up to the appropriate standards for clearing (unless accepted under an “as-is” agreement). This includes painting over walls that have been painted other colors by the occupant. A housing policy allows residents to repaint quarters with certain light colors at their own expense as long as they return the walls to the original color. The paint color the contractors use for housing, and the standard color throughout housing, is RAL9003 MallerWeiss. Providing that exact paint match number to just about any of the local hardware or home improvement stores will get the customer the correct paint for repainting, or touch-up painting.

Light bulbs and other small items that may need to be replaced can also be purchased locally or at the Exchange.

Finally, each sponsor will get a pre-inspection walk-through with a housing inspector several weeks prior to clearing housing. During this pre-inspection, residents can discuss with the housing inspector specific items that may or may not need to be replaced or repaired prior to clearing. Housing inspectors can also help explain the various options to those in the process of preparing their quarters for clearing.

“We understand this impacts our valued customers in this joint community, and we are working very hard to address the funding shortfall,” said Mitchell. “The health and safety of our service members and their families is of the utmost priority so we are still doing those critical service orders that may cause risk of injury or illness, and we want customers to continue to call those orders in.”


Frequently asked questions:

“Will I be forced to move in to broken-down quarters?”

No. If there are no appropriate quarters available that have had proper change of occupancy maintenance, you will be provided a Certificate of Non-Availability.

“Great, so now I have to live off-base?”

Maybe not. There may be options to accept and ultimately return quarters in an as-is condition.

“Will you still take service orders?”

Yes. Customers can still call in service orders. Priority 1 (risk to life, health or safety) will be serviced, others will be recorded.

“With the self-help store closed where can I get light bulbs and air filters for the oven?”

In the short-term, critical household supplies can be purchased at the exchange or on the economy. For items that are not immediately critical, customers may wish to wait in case a funding solution reopens the self-help stores.

“What paint will I need to use when clearing quarters?”

RAL9003 Mallerweiss is the color used throughout housing and is available at local home improvement stores.