FORT POLK, La. – Home is a roof over your head, but it’s also a place to relax and recharge before you face the world again.
Between frequent moves, deployments and training, this can be especially true for soldiers and their families. Because of this, housing issues should be one of the last things on their mind.
The Fort Polk Housing Assistance Office, located at 1820 Corps Road, Building 330, helps address these housing issues and provides state oversight of all housing in Fort Polk. The office is headed by Betty Beinkemper, Fort Polk’s housing manager.
The office’s oversight includes Soldier Barracks, Corvias Housing, the InterContinental Hotels Group and concerns Soldiers and families may encounter at Fort Polk or while hiring out posts.
“We are the advocate for Soldiers and families on and off the installation when it comes to housing issues with Corvias, local real estate agents and more,” said Beinkemper.
Installation Shelter Manager Wesley Fairchild said the office’s first priority is to provide the best possible service, support and housing to Soldiers and family members, as well as civilians living in Fort Polk shelters.
“We strive to treat all Soldiers and renters equally, regardless of rank or position,” Fairchild said.
Fairchild inspects a home when a tenant moves out, just like Corvias.
“I look at the condition of the unit, its serviceability, the structure and anything that could affect the environment, health or safety,” Fairchild said.
A copy of his report is sent to Corvias and linked to their maintenance inspection to cover maintenance between occupancies. Once maintenance is complete, Fairchild inspects the home again before a new tenant moves in.
Conflict resolution is another service offered by the Army Housing Office.
“If there is an unresolved issue between the soldier and Corvias, we act as a liaison between them depending on the situation. We can help the two sides come together to find the best workable solution,” Fairchild said. “This could include anything from a property manager fixing an ongoing maintenance issue to soldiers violating the lease. These are not the only scenarios, but we are here to help in any situation. We strive for the ideal result where both parties are satisfied with the solution.”
The housing benefit office attaches great importance to the needs of those looking for a flat.
“We are working with the resident, Corvias, the US Army garrison and unit leadership to resolve any issues,” said Beinkemper.
Fairchild said his most important job is caring for soldiers and their families.
“I get a real sense of satisfaction when they’re happy and caring about them,” Fairchild said.
Garland Richardson, property manager of installations, said the office is a resource for information on all things home.
“It is information that Corvias may not be able to provide, such as B. A soldier’s basic allowance for housing. Some soldiers don’t even know about BAH or if they qualify for it,” Richardson said. “The housing office is here to advise them, answer their questions and even help them fill out the necessary documents to apply for BAH approval.”
In addition to inspecting privatized housing on Fort Polk, housing inspectors like Richardson also inspect the barracks.
“This is to ensure that our service members and their families live in housing that is properly maintained and meets the standards set by the Army,” Richardson said. “The services we provide make a significant contribution to the health, well-being and quality of life of our men and women in uniform, their family members and the Fort Polk community.”
Beinkemper said one of her biggest goals is to clear the way for military families relocating to Fort Polk to make their transition smooth.
“Frequently, as soon as the soldier has his belongings delivered, he is escorted to the lodge (Fort Polk’s training area) for training. I want them to have the best home that we (Corvias and Army Housing as a partnership) can offer them,” said Beinkemper. “We must offer them the peace of mind that comes with knowing their family is in a safe and decent home. Such concerns should be the last thing on our Soldiers’ minds as they train for the mission.”
For more information, call the Housing Assistance Office at (337) 531-6000.
|Date of recording:||07/11/2022|
|Release Date:||08/11/2022 14:08|
|Location:||FORT POLK, LA, USA|
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