Base leadership addresses housing issues

  • Published
  • By Col. Mohsen Parhizkar
  • 377th Air Base Wing vice commander
This past weekend, an anonymous Kirtland Family Housing resident posted a letter on all of the mailboxes in base housing asking residents to voice their concerns to the director of the base housing office. Although it was probably well intended, this letter was inaccurate in its description of the common problems and actions being taken to correct those perceived problems.

First, I want to outline the channels available for residents to voice their concerns and the order in which issues can be addressed at various levels. Residents should make every effort to resolve issues at the lowest level possible.

Any concerns residents have with regards to base housing should be reported first to the Kirtland Family Housing, LLC. Residents can visit the leasing office and fill out a critique form or call the leasing office at 505-232-2049 to discuss their concerns. The issue is then investigated by the community director and farmed out to the appropriate unit for follow-up action.

After this occurs, if the issue is still not resolved, the resident can then elevate the complaint to the Kirtland Housing Management Referral Office located in the Consolidated Support Building. The referral office will work with the resident and Kirtland Family Housing, LLC to come to a resolution.

Issues that cannot be resolved with the referral office's assistance should be brought to the attention of the resident's village representative or first sergeant. Residents can find the name and phone number of their village representative in the monthly housing newsletter.

Village representatives or first sergeants will then bring the issue to the attention of the Management Review Committee. I am the chairman of this committee which meets quarterly to discuss big-picture housing issues. Please be advised, any issues that require my attention must already have been worked through the proper chain outlined above.

Secondly, I'd like to take this opportunity to address some of the more common housing issues raised by residents and KFH.

Last spring, we set certain objectives with regards to base housing landscape. For a variety of reasons such as a change of landscape contractor, heavy rains, scheduling issues, and coordination problems, these objectives were not met by early fall as scheduled. Therefore, KFH is revising their planting methods and residents can expect a much better outcome in the appearance of their neighborhood in the weeks ahead. Efforts to establish grass (hydroseeding) and replace dead plant material (bushes and trees) are currently underway. There are three landscaping companies working throughout base housing to remove rocks and debris, break up the surface of the soil to accept the seed material and "spraying on" the product. Although the vegetation growth has been sparse up to this point, provided there isn't a drastic change in weather, seed germination should continue over the next four to six weeks and then go dormant for the winter season. KFH is doing their best to ensure our housing area is desirable and remains competitive with the off-base market so people will choose to live in the privatized housing.

Cleaning and upkeep
KFH is responsible for making sure all areas outside of the fenced-in backyards are adequately maintained. The following is the weekly schedule for cleaning and upkeep:
-- Monday - Common areas, playgrounds, etc.
-- Tuesday - Bulk pick up
-- Wednesday - Street gutters, drains
-- Thursday - Bulk pick up
-- Friday - General clean up throughout areas

Residents are responsible for any fenced-in areas -- white patio or chain link -- in their backyards. Residents must ensure the grass is mowed, weeds are taken care of, and clutter is minimal. Please keep in mind, residents are not permitted to store or place personal belongings outside of the fenced-in areas.

Pet clean-up
Residents are responsible for cleaning up after their pets anywhere on the installation to include common areas in base housing. To make things even easier, KFH has placed six pet waste disposal stations along the walking trails throughout base housing. Eight more are planned for future installation if the existing stations are used. These stations provide baggies and trash bins to help residents properly dispose of animal feces. Also, keep in mind, pets must always be leashed and are not allowed on any of the athletic fields on Kirtland AFB.

Maintenance work requests
Residents requiring maintenance on their house should visit the KFH leasing office or call 505-266-0079 to put in a work request. All maintenance requests are immediately assigned a work order number which is provided to the resident. Residents can obtain the status of any work order by calling the leasing office and referring to the work order number. Generally, maintenance response categories and times are as follows:

"Priority One" requests include:
-- No power, water or heat
-- Doors or windows that cannot be secured
-- Sewer backup or clogged commode
-- Lockouts
-- Major water leak
-- Storm damage
-- Other major issues or emergencies

These requests require immediate action, therefore all other work will stop until these "priority one" requests are handled.

"Priority Two" requests include:
-- Routine maintenance items
-- Leaking faucet
-- Inoperable cabinets, drawers or interior doors
-- Carpet or flooring repairs
-- Other items deemed non-emergency

These requests will be responded to within five calendar days. If the requests require more time, the Kirtland Family Housing, LLC will notify the resident.

"Priority Three" requests include:
-- Annual or periodic maintenance items
-- Cosmetic issues such as stains or color change in paint
-- Other non-critical issues which do not have serious affects on preventative maintenance or residents' quality of life

These requests will be responded to not more than ten days after they have been reported. If a "priority three" request is part of a larger effort or contract, it may be included in a master contract schedule.

Rent and BAH
New housing residents who are active-duty must fill out a BAH allotment form at the KFH leasing office at the time of move-in. This form is then submitted to the appropriate finance office, depending on the branch of service. It is the responsibility of each resident to ensure the allotment is in place. Residents can check this online at their MyPay Web site or on their Leave and Earnings Statement. Residents should notify KFH immediately if BAH appears on their LES after move-in as this indicates the allotment did not take place. If BAH is paid to the resident, it is the resident's responsibility to make sure that payment is given to KFH for that month. This is common sense -- your BAH is your rent and KFH is your landlord. The rent has to be paid every month. It's that simple.

Pool, Community Center and Club Houses
The recently-constructed community pool will open Memorial Day weekend in May and close Labor Day weekend in September. The pool was under construction and going through validation and safety procedures towards the end of this year's swimming season, therefore, residents were not able to use it this past summer. Pool hours are to be determined prior to the next season opening date.

The community center is open during normal leasing office hours which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents requesting to use the facility after hours must schedule that with the KFH leasing office. Once approved, a key will be provided to enter the facility. If your party is over 10 people, a $100 deposit for cleaning is required. If the room is returned in its original condition, the deposit will be given back to the resident.

There are three club houses on base available to residents by reservation only. Construction on one club house is complete and the other two will be finished by the end of October. Furniture for all three is on its way. Reservations can be made with the KFH leasing office and the same $100 cleaning deposit is required.

Please remember this is your housing community. I expect everyone to do their part to keep it clean and notify KFH office if you see something that needs to be taken care of; don't assume someone else will call it in. Thank you!