NEWS | June 23, 2020

Unprecedented collaboration demonstrated at Army housing summit

By Scott Malcom U.S. Army Installation Management Command Public Affairs

Despite a focus on pandemic response, family housing remains a top priority for the Army, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, and Residential Communities Initiative partner companies.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, IMCOM commanding general, hosted a three-day housing summit between Army senior leaders, RCI partner company executives, and garrison commanders alongside the leader of their local privatized housing provider at IMCOM headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston June 15-17.

The forum was an opportunity for these joint garrison teams to demonstrate their command of the detailed information that will help each be ready to safely and efficiently move 40 thousand Soldiers and Families during the upcoming summer surge of Permanent Change of Station moves.

Commanders and their partners provided intricate details such as the exact number of families PCSing and what housing units they will clear, the average time each unit will be empty for repair and cleaning between occupants, and the time each team requires to resolve emergency and routine orders.

They also presented strategies to reduce those times as much as possible. At the end of each presentation, the garrison commander and partner assessed their ability to meet the demands of the upcoming summer surge of PCS season.

 “Over these three days we have done a deep dive into 34 privatized housing projects on 44 installations with all seven RCI companies,” Gabram said. “Everyone briefed as a joint team, validating our conference theme of ‘Move forward together.’

“We’ve been at this a while, and COVID only brought us closer and made us better,” the general added. “We’ve been through tough times together this past year, and our relationships are stronger because of it. Our collaboration at all echelons is unprecedented, as is our level of partnership, teamwork, and trust.”

“This is the best, most detailed and most effective communication by the entire team I have seen in 20 years,” said John Picerne, Corvias founder and CEO. “This level of information sharing will provide an outcome of quality housing for Soldiers and families.”

The key takeaways from the summit are: conditions are set for the summer PCS season despite the challenges of our current operating environment; the trust built between the Army and RCI companies at all levels is stronger than ever, and the vast majority of work orders that accrued during the “shelter-in-place” period have been completed.

Gabram and the other leaders acknowledged they “were in the weeds” these three days, but that was by design.

“We are at a very important point,” Gabram said. “Now that we see ourselves clearly and are in command of the details, we can get out of the tactical fight and begin to pull strategic levers where we can really make a difference for our Soldiers and their Families. That said, our work is far from over.”

This housing summit showed that all involved are committed to making a difference for Soldiers and their families over the coming months and years.