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Inhofe-Reed: DOD’s Tenant Bill of Rights Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect our Military Families

U.S.
Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member
of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement
regarding the Department of Defense’s recently released Military Housing
Privatization Initiative Tenant Bill of Rights: 

“We
are glad to see the Department of Defense is taking steps in the right
direction to ensure our military families have basic tenant rights and fair
treatment by housing companies. Unfortunately, it feels like we are seeing a
pattern of moving two steps forward, one step back when it comes to fixing our
broken military housing system.

“The
Department’s proposed Bill of Rights does not go far enough to protect our
military families. The FY20 National Defense Authorization Act was clear—this
Bill of Rights should include three basic items: the right to dispute
resolution, the ability to withhold rent, and access to a home’s maintenance
history. Additionally, the Department led our military families to believe
these protections were in the Bill of Rights when they circulated a draft for
comment as early as May 2019 with those items included. This goes directly
against the promises made by the Department and the housing companies that they
would work to regain the trust of our military families.

“Considering
we made our position clear at the numerous hearings we held last year and in
our initial version of the Defense Authorization bill back in May 2019—and they
were enacted into law on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis—we are extremely
disappointed to see these glaring holes. We prioritized meaningful reforms like
these in our bill because they give military families due recourse and force
the Department and housing companies to be accountable to the families they
serve. The Department’s release is yet another missed opportunity.

“We
will continue to work with the Department of Defense to ensure these
protections are incorporated in the Tenant Bill of Rights, and if necessary,
take additional steps in the FY21 defense authorization bill. There is clearly
still a lot of work to be done—not just on this Bill of Rights but through the
entire privatized military housing system. But getting this done right is
essential—and it needs to be completed quickly. We are watching and waiting.”

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All Information was gathered from publicly available US Government releases. "§105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. ( Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2546 .)" http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:17%20section:105%20edition:prelim)