The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Housing Office is revamping its Housing Coordinator Program in response to feedback from residents.
“We want to open up the channels of communication,” said Donald Meyer, the garrison’s housing division chief. “We want to make sure we have clear and transparent communication with residents. We want to use this program for residents to have better quality of life in housing.”
One of the ways the housing team plans to accomplish their goals is to streamline the process and modernize the way they provide housing and housing services, Meyer said.
Items on the list include moving some items from the Self-Help store to neighborhood centers for residents’ convenience, providing monthly training for building and area coordinators and one-on-one training for section coordinators, updating the garrison website (home.army.mil/wiesbaden) with housing policies and a revised Housing Handbook and publishing a housing newsletter.
The highest-ranking member in a building, area or neighborhood is designated as building, area or section coordinator. These leaders will be in charge of answering residents’ questions, coordinating cleaning schedules, acting as a liaison with the housing office to get deficiencies fixed and communicating projects in the area that may affect residents.
Neighborhood centers, which bring housing staff to each housing area, cater to all neighborhoods, except Clay Kaserne. A neighborhood center on Clay is planned for the summer. The Housing Office is looking to hire spouses who live in the neighborhood to work in the center. Openings are posted on usajobs.gov.
As an area coordinator for Hainerberg Housing since March of 2017, Lt. Col. Bruce Hodges, a logistician with Headquarters Department of the Army, oversees seven section coordinators and 49 building coordinators.
Hodges oversees spring and fall cleanup and the cleaning of stairwells, yards and trash islands. He also keeps residents in his area up-to-date with periodic emails.
During walks through the neighborhood, Hodges talks to residents, answers questions and gets feedback, he said. As a result of feedback, he has been able to help address some residents’ concerns, such as getting crosswalks painted near the schools and getting street light bulbs replaced.
As someone who has spent 20 years living in Army housing, including when he was a child, Hodges empathizes with the challenges military families face.
“I know how hard it can be,” he said. “This is my chance to help other families – especially new families.”
Although he often fields complaints from residents, Hodges said he enjoys serving in his role as area coordinator.
“The best way to make a difference is to do something about it,” he said. “If we all pitch in a little bit, we can make this a great community to live in.”