Calif. senators call for improved housing conditions at Camp Pendleton

Calif. senators call for improved housing conditions at Camp Pendleton
A Marine with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division adjusts his night vision as the sun set on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Photo by PFC. Stephen Beard

CAMP PENDLETON — California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein sent a letter today to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Lincoln Military Housing, calling for improved housing conditions at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

A Nov. 1 report by Reuters detailed multiple instances of mold, rodent infestation, leaks and other housing issues at military bases across the country, including Camp Pendleton. Lincoln Military Housing controls most of the base’s 7,900 housing units.

“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,” Harris and Feinstein said in the letter. “We urge Lincoln Military Housing to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to immediately resolve the issues identified in these reports.”

Lincoln Family Housing President Jarl Bliss accused Reuters of multiple inaccuracies and omissions that paint LFH in a poor light, like Reuters’ finding of the company’s slow response times to issues like mold, rodents and water damage. But Bliss did not dispute Reuters’ finding that the company settled a lawsuit over mold at Camp Pandleton and is fighting another mold suit filed by a family that resided in Naval base housing in San Diego.

“Contrary to what the story would lead a reader to believe, we do not profit by skimping on service,” Bliss said in a company-issued statement. “To the contrary, we are most successful when we have satisfied residents who recommend LMH housing to other military families.”

Military members and their families living on bases like Camp Pendleton do not have the same tenant rights protections as residents living on privately-owned land.

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