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Part of $100M Fort Bragg housing investment work starts this month

In an April, 2019 file photo, Sgt. Andrew McNeil, left, a public affairs mass communication NCO with the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, discusses his on-post housing concerns with Maj. Tabitha Hernandez and 1st Sgt. Jeremy Crisp, 22nd MPAD command team, during a command visit on Fort Bragg, N.C.

GREGORY T. SUMMERS/U.S. ARMY

By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer | Published: October 1, 2019

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Fort Bragg's housing partner, Corvias, is making a $100 million investment to go toward upgrades that start as soon as this month at Fort Bragg, officials said.

The Fort Bragg investment is part of an overall $325 million investment at six Army posts.

The announcement comes after military families nationwide raised concerns about mold, lead paint at installations, and carbon monoxide was found in some Fort Bragg homes.

Corvias officials said the investment plan has been in the works for more than 18 months "to provide high-quality military housing."

John Picerne, founder of Corvias, said some of the buildings in the company's portfolio are 40-100 years old.

"We realized that a "fix-it-and-forget it" approach was not working or sustainable for meaningful improvement," Picerne said. "Instead of following the status quo of correcting problems when they occur, we realized we needed to solve the long-term issues of these aging facilities."

Picerne said the investment means Corvias can be "proactive to get ahead of a problem before it occurs."

Specifically at Fort Bragg, the investment will go toward the renovation of 280 homes.

That includes work on 132 homes in the Pope community, which starts this month and ends in December 2021, and 148 homes in the Bataan community, which begins in February and finishes December 2021.

In addition to the renovations, more than 2,850 homes will be weatherproofed, new floors will be installed in more than 200 homes, about 300 homes will have cleaning of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, lead-paint remediation will be completed in 280 homes and more than 1,000 homes will be power-washed.

Energy and water resiliency upgrades that will start in December and last until July 2021 will include: updating light fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs in about 6,200 homes and more than 650 lamp posts; and installing more than 6,200 energy efficient thermostats, about 2,800 energy efficient heating and cooling units and about 1,700 hot-water units.

"We anticipate residents will see positive impacts, and we will do all we can to minimize disruptions," Picerne said. "As we develop a schedule of major work, we will work directly with residents to accommodate their needs when scheduling."

Officials are estimating the update will lead to $300 million in savings during the next 30 years, which Picerne said will be reinvested into housing.

Corvias worked with its partners to develop the capital investment structure at no cost to the government and in support of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, officials said.

The initiative was enacted in 1996 to leverage private-sector capital in response to the military's backlog of deferred maintenance by expanding and modernizing housing.

Picerne said the investment plan "epitomizes what a partnership should enable," by "anticipating and finding solutions to future scenarios."

©2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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