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‘They Don’t Have To Live With Us’: Lawmakers Demand Answers Over Cockroach-Infested Marine Housing

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

California’s senators have sent a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the head of a public-private partnership providing on-base housing, calling on them to improve housing conditions for Marines after an explosive new report detailed squalid conditions and deterioration.

The letter, sent by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala D. Harris, both Democrats, cited a Nov. 1 investigation by Reuters that reported serious deficiencies and health hazards in base housing at Camp Pendleton, California.

Interviews with 100 families turned up reports of mouse infestations, severe mold outbreaks, cockroaches, roof leaks and more. Families said Lincoln Military Housing, the contractor that manages most on-base housing, took some mitigating actions, but did not do enough to address concerns and keep houses livable.

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“We are deeply concerned and disappointed about recent reports of unsuitable housing conditions at Camp Pendleton. Members of our military and their families sacrifice greatly to keep our nation safe, and the very least we can do in return is ensure their housing is safe and sanitary,” the senators wrote to Mattis and Tim Byrne, CEO of Lincoln, in a Nov. 5 letter. “We urge Lincoln Military Housing to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to immediately resolve the issues identified in these reports.”

Feinstein and Harris called for a response by Nov. 15 regarding the military and Lincoln’s strategy to address existing problems and implement corrective actions at Pendleton and other military bases with similar problems.

They asked whether the Defense Department would provide a plan to offer medical …read more

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