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NEWS | Sept. 16, 2021

JBSA housing advocates aim to build communities, trust

By Jason Wilkinson 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Housing residents at Joint Base San Antonio installations have two powerful allies they might not know about – Beverly Ebbers and Cathy Wiley.

Ebbers and Wiley work as housing advocates for JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph, respectively. The housing advocate program is designed to provide a liaison between military housing residents and their landlord, whether it is Balfour Beatty at JBSA-Lackland or Hunt at JBSA-Randolph, the privatized companies that run on-base housing at these installations.

“My role is to assist families with concerns in regard to housing,” Ebbers said. “If I am not able to assist them with their particular concerns, I provide them with resources or point them in the right direction.”

Concerns range from understanding the Tenant Bill of Rights to work order challenges. Both of these advocates understand how something seemingly small can have a big footprint in a family’s life.

“It can be something as simple as a dishwasher not working,” Wiley said. “But a dishwasher not working to a spouse with four kids under the age of seven, whose military member is deployed, is huge.”

This understanding and concern for the military family come naturally, as they each have prior experience living in and working with military housing.

Ebbers grew up with a father who was a career Marine and has a husband who retired from the Army in 2018. Wiley is an Air Force veteran and has a husband who retired from the Air Force. Both come with years of experience in property management.

“I understand very well the stresses that come from moving from across the country or across the world, and lodging with your children and your pets,” Ebbers said. “You’re just wanting to go into a clean, ready home.”

Both listed the relationships they form with the residents as one of their favorite things about the job. Working to increase the sense of community is a goal for them and the residents they are in contact with.

“I want to make sure people have a home where they can really make memories, and be comfortable,” Wiley said.

“Having lived the lifestyle and understanding the challenges, and being able to address those and move things in a positive direction – I think that’s my favorite part of the job,” Ebbers said.

Both ladies were effusive in their praise for the resident councils and leadership with which they work. The resident councils consist of diverse members of the on-base housing community – from junior enlisted to colonels.

“Without the engagement and support of the local leadership on this installation, as well as the wing, I wouldn't be able to do my job as effectively,” Ebbers said. “And I may be biased, but I think I have the best resident council in the Air Force.”

It’s easy to tell that both are committed to the communities they serve, with genuine excitement to help residents, build relationships, and inspire trust.

“I have an office here, but my true office is out in the community,” Wiley concluded.

For assistance, call 210-347-5807.