Safe Military Housing Initiative (SMHI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established by military spouses advocating for SAFE AND HABITABLE MILITARY HOMES. Our military families deserve no less. We brought attention to the uninhabitable, substandard living conditions affecting military families with years of data, documents, and research. Reuters captured our data in a Pulitzer-Winning Series, “Ambushed at Home.” This data convinced the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the Military Housing Privatized Initiative (MHPI) legislation was failing our families. Finally, the first of several congressional hearings took place on February 13, 2019, and for the first time, triggered broad changes to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) and the MHPI (Military Housing Privatized Initiative). Those changes resulted in annual GAO inspections and hearings, the Tenant Bill of Rights, a Universal Lease, military advocate programs, government and private funding infusions, pathways for grievances, increased oversight, authorities, and specialized personnel. Grassroots success has been limited and even encumbered by more layers of bureaucracy, ineffective oversight due to limited authority, and the failure to use diagnostic science for identifying chronic environmental conditions.
Undiagnosed environmental conditions are affecting
readiness, retention, and recruitment of our military
SMHI estimates that at least one of three military homes has environmental conditions affecting our service members' and their families' health and well-being. Tragically, this has directly affected readiness, retention, and recruitment. An alarming number of our cases result in service members opting not to reenlist, taking early separation or retirement due to their family’s health, or because the service members themselves are medically separated or retired.
The most common environmental conditions affecting the health and well-being of our families are mold and other air quality issues. Unfortunately, these continue because testing and diagnostics of environmental conditions are not being utilized. Base AIHA and environmentalist specialists conduct only “visual assessments." The mandated third-party inspections of all military homes did not include diagnostics of environmental conditions such as mold, VOC, HCHO, CO2, toxins, and mycotoxins. Without scientific diagnostics, these conditions go unabated. The significance of their connection to health is ignored by the DOD, its military Branches, the Private Public Venture (PPV) housing companies, and the Defense Health Agency (DHA).
The SMHI/EHD Pilot Project
SMHI has partnered with Environmental Health Diagnostics, LLC (EHD). This independent company includes a team of licensed and certified professional environmental scientists, industrial hygienists, physicians, and consultants (which may consist of biologists, toxicologists, neurologists, allergists, and analysts), to conduct assessments/diagnostics of home environments and assess the environmental exposures' potential correlations to the symptoms reported by the residents. The project has been designed specifically for our military families residing in military homes. It will provide SMHI-selected and opted-in families whose homes have environmental health concerns with a no-cost EHD report. SMHI's caseworkers can then use the report to help the families take the appropriate next steps, citing data in the report to highlight the need for hazard-control actions where applicable.
Please consider donating to SMHI for this project!
Your donation can help participating military families obtain the scientific data they need at no cost to the families and enhance the chances of successfully resolving their housing-related problems to experience better health and improved quality of life.
Be a Military Housing Hero! Support the initiative to "Leave No Military Family in Unhealthy Homes."
Make checks payable to the Safe Military Housing Initiative or donate via the PayPal link below.
For direct donations, contact Jean Coffman at (858)699-2127.
Tax ID number 83-4255045.
Address: 8209 Market St., Unit A #266
Wilmington, North Carolina, 28411.
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