FORT LEE, Va. – Military personnel or spouses residing in Fort Lee Family Housing are invited to join a new Community Advisory Board, which kicks off with an overview meeting for selected members Aug. 6.

Hunt Military Communities, the installation’s privatized housing partner, will conduct the program with support from the garrison command team. The intent is to bring together representatives from each on-post neighborhood to engage in constructive dialogue, identify concerns and assist in planning community events to enhance Fort Lee’s quality of life.

“It is completely voluntary,” noted Charleen Herriott, Hunt’s housing community director here. “We’re seeking individuals who want to take an active role in making their neighborhoods safe, connected and fun. The meetings will be an opportunity to talk, explore, challenge, offer insights and learn together – all the while providing meaningful feedback to housing area managers.”

Any type of dialogue about life in family housing can be beneficial, noted garrison leaders, and a forum that promotes continuous interaction is sure to produce positive results.

“We need to break down the barriers especially with communications between housing occupants and managers,” observed Col. Hollie J. Martin, garrison commander. “We need to promote the practice of the community working together and taking care of each other. This forum will enable progress in both of those areas and allow us to work with residents to change issues into opportunities.”

The garrison established a commander’s hotline (804-734-6300) for housing issues after the resident town hall in February. The housing hotline is meant to be a resource for those who feel their home and neighborhood maintenance needs are not being met through the normal work order process. Only a few calls have been received in recent weeks, even though there are several hundred active work orders in progress. The concern is that tensions still exist and are not being vocalized through the command channel where attention could assist the resident.  Thus, the CAB would further serve as a sensing tool for community satisfaction.

 “To be true to the commitment of providing the highest quality of life for families, we need to maintain a continuous conversation about the things residents think and experience,” Martin said. “We can’t fix what we don’t know. The CAB is another chance to get residents talking and coming up with ideas for improvement.”

Community members should not shy away from this opportunity if they are new to the military or junior in rank to others in their neighborhood, Herriott emphasized.

“This is all about voicing observations and idea sharing,” she said. “The meetings will be as informal as we can make them. Members will not be fundraising or organizing community projects. Really, the only requirement is to be involved in your neighborhood and know what could make it a better place to live so that can be shared with others on the board.”

The project leaders will host an annual appreciation dinner as a show of thanks to those who fulfill the requested 12-month commitment, Herriott pointed out.

The board will be comprised of up to eight members, ideally with at least one individual from each Fort Lee neighborhood. As of press time, representatives from the Jefferson Terrace and Adams Chase neighborhoods were still needed. Alternates are needed also who could step in and participate if a CAB member departs from Fort Lee.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit or call the Hunt housing office as soon as possible. The housing office is located at 1510 Sisisky Boulevard and the phone number is 804-733-1558. Board application forms are available at each neighborhood’s community center and have been posted to the Fort Lee Traveller website with this article.

Community members are reminded also that the next Family Housing Town Hall meeting is set for Aug. 19, 4:30 p.m., at the Memorial Chapel.