Ossoff returns to Fort Gordon as housing gets closer scrutiny
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Sen. Jon Ossoff was at Fort Gordon Wednesday to personally oversee the home-by-home inspections of privatized housing units on post that are taking place after years of problems.
The inspections are expected to take approximately four weeks to complete.
Ossoff held a news conference at the post:
It’s something Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., has been pushing for after a monthslong Senate investigation essentially made Fort Gordon the poster child for bad military housing.
For more than a decade, we’ve documented claims of families saying their homes on post made them sick.
The investigation by an Ossoff-led subcommittee leveled much of the blame on Balfour Beatty, the private company that manages family housing at the local post.
We met with him one-on-one. Ossoff is not backing down from his promise to keep military families safe.
“I returned to Fort Gordon today to ensure that the Army made good on its commitment to inspect every single home on post. That’s a commitment that they made to me at my insistence, and it’s a commitment that they made to the personnel here at Fort Gordon,” he said.
Ensuring safe living conditions for all military families.
“These home-by-home inspections that are happening this week here at Fort Gordon, the first installation in the nation, where this is underway, are an important part of the process of making things right,” he said.
We weren’t able to be there with him for the inspections, but the senator shared videos with us.
“The inspections are underway. And you know, the I-TEAM at WRDW has been covering this for years. And so folks in the Augusta area are familiar with some of these recurring issues, mold, structural problems, and potential health hazards,” said Ossoff.
He spent hours with families on post showing them change is coming.
“I spent about an hour in a town hall meeting with more than 40 enlisted personnel on post here today. And I think this is the fundamental thing, particularly when you’ve got a young child at home. Environmental hazards, mold, fumes, these become a crisis,” he said.
He says it won’t be a fast and easy fix, but the road to change for these families begins now.
“Military families already sacrificed so much for the country. They should not have to sacrifice a self-safe and healthy home for themselves and their kids. So that’s what this is about. That’s why I’m remaining focused on it,” said Ossoff.
EARLIER COVERAGE FROM NEWS 12:
- Senators hear of horrors blamed on military housing
- We asked a simple question about Balfour Beatty
- Housing problems continue with Balfour Beatty
- Fort Gordon housing investigation update
- Army moves quickly on Fort Gordon housing
- How military families feel about housing settlement
- U.S. Army kept in the dark about issues
But Ossoff says exposing bad housing isn’t enough.
“We need to understand what damage to health has already been done, but we also need to understand what are the future risks. What are the risks of chronic illness or future illness?” he said.
He and two Republicans, Sens. Tim Scott and Marco Rubio, are launching an inquiry.
They sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense.
“We need to understand the full range of potential negative health effects and immediately get that information to affected families and ensure they’re provided the care that they need,” Ossoff said.
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