CHARLOTTE — Families at two North Carolina military bases said they’re being exploited, and a local law firm is helping them fight back.
The families at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg have filed suit against companies that own and manage thousands of homes on the bases. Attorneys claim the private companies placed profits over tenants.
At Camp Lejeune, they said it led to cockroach infestations, filthy living conditions, water intrusion, mold and mildew. Attorneys also stated that families had to deal with ineffective maintenance, inadequate repairs and rude customer service.
The claim said the company LendLease turned privatized military housing into a profit center nearly doubling its project valuation.
“When you hear about it, it’s pretty disheartening,” said Corey Simpson, a former service member.
Simpson is helping Wallace & Graham in Salisbury investigate the companies that are involved.
One claim said Corvias Group LLC concealed harmful environmental and structural housing defects in homes on Fort Bragg.
“The reason we’re in the media, is there are active lobbying efforts to get laws in place that would make these cases impossible,” said John Hughes, attorney for Wallace & Graham.
The families want major changes on the bases and to be paid back.
“They would like refunds of overpayment,” Hughes said.
>> Remember, you can watch our radar/newscasts anytime at home on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV
Channel 9 reached out to the company LendLease for comment, and a spokesperson for Atlantic Marine Corps Communities (AMCC) sent the following statement on Wednesday:
“We are reviewing the complaint. As is true in any instance, we have strict protocols in place to ensure any concerns are assessed and remediated appropriately and expeditiously. Our residents' safety, health, and wellbeing are our top priority. As such, we stand by our strong track record, providing quality homes for service members and their families. Due to the pendency of this matter, we are unable to provide any further details or comment at this time."
Service members have been fighting for quality housing for years. In March 2019, senators questioned the heads of the four military branches who demanded better housing.
It wasn’t until February of this year that a military tenant Bill of Rights was created. It took effect in May and outlined 15 rights tenants have to quality housing and legal action if needed.
© 2020 Cox Media Group