Travis opens privatized housing resident advocate office

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cameron Otte
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The privatized housing resident advocate office opened at the Airman and Family Readiness Center Aug. 31, 2020. 

The privatized housing resident advocate office is a function on base that allows base housing residents to voice their concerns pertaining to their on-base residence and privatized housing company, Balfour Beatty.

“I’m here to assist those who are having trouble resolving issues with Balfour Beatty and the military housing office,” said Jillian Swanson, 60th Air Mobility Wing privatized housing resident advocate. “If someone calls my office with a complaint, I walk them through the steps on what appropriate actions to take.”

The proper chain starts with Balfour Beatty, but if the problem can’t be resolved, then it moves up to the military housing office. If the issue persists after reaching out to both offices, the final step is to contact the privatized housing resident advocate office.

“When the issue does make its way to me, I’ll begin my investigation with some research on the resident’s situation and try to figure out why these problems aren’t getting resolved,” Swanson said. “There are always countless possibilities for why a problem occurs, so to aid my search, I have access to all resident housing documents.”

Swanson also has a direct link to the base commander, which allows her to present all housing concerns at the highest level possible.

“The commander has an entire base to run—he can’t always be focused on base resident’s issues,” Swanson said. “That’s why I’m here. I track all the concerns of residents and try to resolve their concerns. After that, I can present every situation to the commander at once so he can get the most information as efficiently as possible.”

Some residents dealing with property issues have already received assistance from Swanson.

“We had a gas leak in our home and were told we had to move out while Balfour Beatty contractors made repairs,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Meacham, 373rd Training Squadron KC-10 crew chief instructor. “After we were told that, I looked over the repair schedule and realized the leak was projected to be fixed before we move out.”

Not wanting to move out of their home after it’s already been repaired, Meacham struggled to figure out what he could do until he received a phone call.

“We had been dealing with this issue for about five days until the privatized housing advocacy office contacted us,” Meacham said. “I didn’t even know they existed until they reached out to help us. After the advocacy office spoke with us, our issues were addressed right away and were taken very seriously.”

Over the course of a week, there was some back and forth discussions between the privatized housing resident advocate office and Balfour Beatty until one day, Balfour Beatty called us and said we no longer had to move, said Meacham.

“I would most definitely trust the privatized housing advocate to assist us in the future,” Meacham said. “I believe that had I known about them before all of this happened, that things would have went over more smoothly.”

Swanson feels it’s important for residents to not only get their problems resolved, but also to inform them on what they legally can and can’t do.

“Residents typically don’t know their rights, so it’s important that they have someone they can turn to for guidance” Swanson said. “Remember you are not alone. The privatized housing resident advocate office is here to help.”