Balfour Beatty Property Management – Balfour Beatty Communities and the United States Army are breaking ground to build new housing at Fort Carson. (Pictured: Business Wire)
FORT CARSON, Colo.–( BUSINESS WIRE )– Balfour Beatty Communities, Fort Carson, in partnership with the U.S. Army, has announced the launch of a planned multi-phase development project for Fort Carson, a privatized military housing facility. Family homes. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 13, 2022, in the western neighborhood of Cherokee Village, where 60-year-old military housing will be demolished to make way for new homes for active-duty service members and families assigned to Fort Carson.
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The event was attended by Colonel Knight Springer, Commander of the Fort Carson Garrison and representatives of the Balfour Beatty communities. The meeting was also attended by Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, deputy commander of the US Army Construction Management Command, and Maj. Gen. David Hodgney, commander of Fort Carson.
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“The goal of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is to support our service members by providing a quality living experience,” said Rick Taylor, president of facilities, renovations and construction for Balfour Beatty Communities. “We are excited to work with the Army on our shared goal of bringing new, modern housing to Fort Carson and fulfilling our commitment to support active duty families.”
The development is the first phase of a multi-phase project leading to new three- and four-bedroom townhomes that will feature open floor plans, generous storage, updated trim and flooring, outdoor living spaces and energy-efficient systems and appliances. A new playground and indoor picnic area are also planned as part of the project.
To make this development project possible, Balfour Beatty Communities continues to work with the Army to secure private financing for Fort Carson and other Army properties in its housing portfolio.
Working with the Ministry of Defense as part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), Balfour Beatty Communities has delivered more than 14,000 new homes and significantly upgraded a further 15,000 homes. MHPI was adopted in 1996 to leverage the capital and expertise of the private sector to address the military’s deferred maintenance issues with housing expansion and modernization, predictable, sustainable long-term operating costs and productivity. Balfour Beatty Communities will finance, develop, build, renovate and operate these projects for at least 50 years.
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Balfour Beatty Communities is an active owner and manager of residential properties in the multipurpose, student and military housing sectors of the United States. Since its inception in 1999, Balfour Beatty Communities has invested in nearly 100 properties with a total asset value of over $7.9 billion. Our extensive in-house experience includes decades of acquisition, development, financing, renovation, leasing and property/facility management experience. Using this extensive experience and customer service-oriented approach, Balfour Beatty Communities strives to create value in real estate projects by delivering exceptional living experiences. For more information visit balfourbeattycommunities.com.
Balfour Beatty Communities Balfour Beatty Investments Inc. and is a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty plc, a leading international infrastructure group.
Construction marks the start of a multi-phase development project that will bring new family housing to Fort Carson. Balfour Beatty Communities announces the appointment of Shawna Swanson to Vice President of Community Management for Army Housing Operations. In this role, Shawna is responsible for strategic planning, direction and support for the management of the company’s 17 military housing properties, including leasing and resident relations activities.
Since joining the Balfour Beatty Communities team, Shawna has been a consistent champion for the excellent service we strive to provide to each of our residents,” said Chris Williams, president of Balfour Beatty Communities. “She has seamlessly managed the largest and most complex residential properties in our military portfolio, and I look forward to her I look forward to the depth of experience and fresh perspectives he will bring to the properties and to the thousands of residents who call these communities home.”
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Shawna began her career at Balfour Beatty Communities in 2010 as Community Manager of Fort Leonard Wood Homes. In 2016, he was promoted to the position of Regional Property Manager for the Western Region, an army of around 10,000 households. So he worked with the BBC’s government partners to manage day-to-day operations and continually improve the service for the benefit of military families. Shawna also worked directly with residents as a tireless problem solver and established herself as a trusted coach and mentor to her teams.
Most recently, Shawna was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Public Administration for the Army portfolio, assisting with the broader operation of Army assets and various initiatives.
Shawna brings over 20 years of experience in residential property management to this role. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Keene with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in real estate and office management. Army officials are investigating Balfour Beatty’s actions at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The company manages privatized military housing across the country, including this community at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (Video courtesy of Ron Mullan/Air Force One)
The Army has launched an investigation into the actions of Balfour Beatty Communities, a private housing company in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
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“I take very seriously the report of unsafe conditions that harm the lives, health and safety of Soldiers and families,” said Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.
But Jacobson digs deeper than Fort Gordon to look at what the military should do against privatized housing companies — a question raised by military families and lawmakers.
“If a private housing provider fails to meet its compliance obligations, the Army will use the tools available to hold the provider accountable,” he said.
The move led to the publication of a Senate report on April 26 citing Balfour Beatty’s mismanagement and continued hardship for military families. Jacobson said the day after the report was released, he notified Balfour Beatty that he would immediately conduct an investigation at Fort Gordon. The moves came three weeks after he was sworn into his new job.
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The Senate report’s findings are “deeply troubling,” he told lawmakers at a hearing Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.
Officials also said they were suspending requests for incentive payments from Balfour Beatty and reviewing Balfour Beatty’s property management records at Fort Gordon.
“We are working diligently to respond to the issues raised in the troop’s letter and will respond to their questions in detail,” Balfour Beatty Society officials said in a statement to The Army Times.
An eight-month investigation by the Senate focused on the Balfour Beatty communities at Fort Gordon and Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. But the company manages military housing on 55 Army, Navy and Air Force installations in 26 states, containing 43,000 homes and 150,000,000 residents.
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Many of the same housing issues that the report identified more than three years ago and that congressional reforms in 2019 continue to plague military family housing run by Balfour Beatty.
“Why should we trust your assurances?” Senators grill officials of privatized housing company. “We’re not perfect,” Balfour Beatty said.
At a Senate hearing on April 26, housing advocate Balfour Beatty sought to remove the privatized home. Two remaining service members testified about their families’ health problems and the company’s difficulty in dealing with them.
Lawmakers questioned why Balfour Beatty should be trusted to provide housing to military families after a Justice Department fraud investigation led to Balfour Beatty’s indictment in December, $65 million in fines and penalties and three years of probation. A Balfour Beatty employee told senators on April 26 that the company had taken corrective action, that there was no systemic failure and that the company should remain in good standing.
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Jacobson said he asked the Army’s general counsel to issue a legal opinion outlining all enforcement options available under the law.
“This analysis will assess when we can change contracts with privatized housing providers,” Jacobson said. However, he said, if the reviewers conclude that more authority is needed under the law, they will pursue that goal with Congress.
DoD and service officials have implemented oversight reforms in line with Congressional mandates. Officials conduct more inspections, meet more frequently with company CEOs, and tenants have more rights and a voice under the Tenants’ Rights Act.
“But we need to do more and make sure that privatized housing companies are held accountable,” Jacobson said. “That’s why I want to understand my authorities better.”
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The housing privatization initiative began in the 1990s as a result of deteriorating family housing that had suffered from years of backlogs.
Prior to housing privatization, housing units were owned and operated by service units
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