Skilled Military Housing Attorneys in El Paso and Las Cruces
At the Ruhmann Law Firm, our military housing attorneys in El Paso and Las Cruces are deeply concerned about the well-being of our military families after learning from a new report that the private companies that are managing on-base housing are allowing the premises to fall into disrepair, which may lead to serious health issues for our soldiers, the spouses, and children.
New studies uncovered the lack of care these private organizations have provided our bravest residents by allowing their on-base communities to become hazardous with significant mold issues, asbestos, lead paint, and dangerous water quality that is causing significant illnesses, injuries, diseases, and other medical conditions in our military communities.
If you have suffered health issues caused by substandard military housing, you may be eligible to pursue the private building management company that is or was responsible for providing safe living conditions for you and your family.
When Was On-Base Housing Privatized in New Mexico and Texas?
The U.S. Department of Defense began privatizing on-base military housing in 1996.
Now, 25 years later, 99% of all on-base military housing is managed by private companies that were paid nearly $4 billion in rent allowances last year alone.
Unfortunately, these companies are doing truly little to keep the premises from falling into disrepair, according to a new study published by the Military Family Advisory Network, or MFAN.
Instead, they are pocketing the funds as sheer profit and leaving our important military members and their families living in poor conditions that can lead to significant health problems.
According to the report, the largest and potentially liable private military housing companies include:
- Americas Lendlease
- Balfour Beatty Communities
- Corvias Group
- Hunt Military Communities
- Lincoln Military Housing
If you have suffered an injury, illness, or other adverse medical problems caused by poor military housing conditions, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers in El Paso and Las Cruces for a free consultation today.
What Types of Poor Conditions are Military Families Subjected to Due to Privatization?
The report submitted by MFAN found significant issues with the safety and health of our military families due to poor living conditions under the privatized management of their housing units.
The report fully outlined the poor conditions, including the existence of:
- Black mold
- Faulty wiring
- Infestations of vermin, insects, and other animals, including raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and bats
- Lead paint
- Poor water quality
Because of these poor and extremely unhealthy living conditions, our military personnel and their families have reported illnesses with long-term adverse implications.
As families struggle to deal with poor living conditions while protecting our freedom, they are filing complaints, reports, and requests for remediation in record numbers, only to be denied — or worse — completely ignored.
At the Ruhmann Law Firm, our El Paso and Dona Ana County military housing lawyers want to help our soldiers and their families pursue solutions through financial recovery while holding these private management companies liable for their healthcare needs.
Are There Previous Studies that Have Found Hazardous Conditions in Military Housing Units?
Nearly a decade ago, Joe Federico – a gunnery Sergeant – sued over mold exposure that went unremedied by the largest military housing provider, Lincoln Military Housing.
In his lawsuit, Federico stated the mold in his on-base housing made his entire family ill, including him, his wife, and their daughter.
In response, a lawyer for the privatized military housing company told the court that their environmental testing found no mold. The report was found to have been altered to diminish the level of mold in the home.
The jury awarded Federico $350,000 during the trial, which was not the first litigation experience for the housing agency. Lincoln Military housing spent more than $13 million over five years in litigation and remediation settlements related to mold in their military housing units.
The Federico lawsuit prompted our U.S. Congress to force Lincoln Military Housing to do mold inspections on nearly 850 homes.
Their findings were astounding: 77% of homes contained mold issues that required remediation.
The report was not released to the public until 2018, when the media giant, Reuters, demanded its release and later conducted an independent investigation of their own.
They found that the two most substantial and widespread hazards our military families face inside their on-base housing are rodents and mold. One instance at the major United States Marine Corps base on the West Coast, Camp Pendleton, required a family to take out a $4,000 loan to move off-base, fearing for the health of their young child.
What Are the Military Housing Tenant Rights?
Throughout the country, tenants’ rights are protected by tough laws that allow renters to withhold payment until any health or safety hazards are permanently fixed.
Conversely, military personnel and their families have their rent paid directly to the private management companies from their military branch, so they have no recourse when requesting change.
The problem is widespread and comes with lengthy contracts.
In most cases, the military and private management companies agree to long-term partnerships that can contractually obligate the military to pay the rent of thousands of military personnel for up to 50 years. This could place even more of our military personnel and their families in jeopardy of living in poor conditions that can lead to substantial health problems.
Our military housing attorneys in El Paso and Las Cruces want to help do something about it.
Are You Living in Substandard Military Housing in New Mexico or Texas?
If you are living in hazardous conditions in any military community in New Mexico or Texas, contact our experienced military housing attorneys in Las Cruces and El Paso at the Ruhmann Law Firm today at (575) 215-1695 to schedule a free consultation to get the compensation you are entitled to for substandard military housing.