The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Military Housing for Profit

Jan 20, 2020

Families of soldiers living on Maryland’s Fort Meade army base sued private landlord Corvias Management in November over their horrible housing conditions, including mold everywhere, pests like cockroaches and millipedes, and standing water. Families at other bases have made similar fights recently.

Base housing has always been atrociously maintained. What is new in the last 22 years is that the military leased almost all of its U.S. base housing to private, for-profit companies. After handing out three billion dollars for construction, the military pays the companies four billion dollars a year to house 600,000 adults and 100,000 children. Profits are enormous. The owner of Corvias boasts of his six million dollar beach house and huge yacht.

Inspectors of newly built housing on a number of bases found widespread fire hazards, faulty electrical wiring, and uncontrolled mold growth. Meanwhile, 100,000 older homes are still contaminated with toxic lead paint from the 1970s or before. But the companies and military commanders threaten families who complain about these conditions.