The Hotshot Wakeup podcast last week looked at this NFFE letter on Forest Service housing issues. Quoted below.
As you know, Housing Problem in the forest servicee it is. Basically About honor. Forest service eWorkers must have safe, affordable wages.And A safe place to live But many do. not at all. yours Our staff and members shared these poignant observations on the Forest Service’s housing crisis. That’s what he said. It is forbiddenIt greatly affects and hinders the sense of dignity in the workplace Recruitment and retention Efforts:
• Employees They live in their trucks, their vans, their hammers, or “sofa”.–Surfing” b Forest Service. this is Most of it most of the time Oh, not by choiceThe importance of f.
• No Government housing it is. Available to employees In some places. Lack of private rentals and Inequitable in many places. There is currently no housing allowance for Forest Service employees.
• Existing houses are dilapidated and In dangerous messed up. Frequencynt complaints Include: mold, Asbestos, rat infestations, roofs caved in, exposed wires, uninsulated, windows that don’t work, no. Locks, non–Workable items, no Y–F and weak cellar telephone service. Forest Service Housing compared to other land use agencies.
• It is a “men only” residence.. No family residence or it is Limited to 3–Year terms.
• Workers do the repairs themselves or pay out of pocket because ofse FS says no money..
• Housing is not guaranteed. Temporary workers may lose their housing if they take permanent position. Employees can be evicted from housing At short notice. for example, If the agency has Posted a vacancy notice.To find a place with High priority For housingCurrent Resident must evacuate. That bed will remain unused until the new tenant is on board..
• The workers are paying market rates for substandard housing facilities. Rent in government housing Because they are high They are based on the next closest municipality, which is often expensive tourist or College towns. Rent is not reduced when the property is damaged.
• Rents are not fair Pro–Ranked among tenants of government housing. For example, if the only GovtThe existing use is designed for six residents, but only one employee needs housing; An employee should pay the whole Rent it even if no one else is there.
In a short time We have identified changes The Forest Service can Apply Iright away to improve to live Conditions And help in of hirement of New employees. These
1. Expediting repairs and improvements to existing government buildings, incl Easy to add Facilities And brand new Furniture. Order the forest rangers to complete the overdue maintenance At the end The calendar year. Order the forest inspectors Evaluation and By default, ApprovalAny reasonable Question Maintenance Prioritizing repairs that affect hygiene, health and safety of workers.
2. Waiver of all rent payments From the staff Up to government houses Issues are eliminated and Housing lMovable. Investigate through the Chief Inspector any private housing providers who ask for a fee Market or premium rates for substandard homes, or commit any federal or local violation Health or epidemic regulations.
3. Establishment of housing subsidy benefits And make it available to any employee who is absent Forest Service Housing.
4. Place additional trailer hitches on Forest Service property. Speed up the pinEnter of Campers for staff who request and place them they For immediate use.
5. Consult the Department of Home Affairs on best practices and find their sustainable housing designs. It will be built. National Park Service staff a–Frame cabinets common room with television, Kitchen, shared bathroom, and private rooms.
6. Identify AlSites considered as “administrative site”. And immediately start the construction. There is no need to complete an environmental impact assessment on these sites and new constructions It is only subject to public opinion.
7. Recruit more forest engineers and To monitor the facilities staff Normal Improvements and to build new ones Buildings. ContractOr construction and Renovation maintenance it is. Very expensive. currently, Some forests have only one person responsible for this work Full forest.
8. Condemn and bulldoze properties as needed to the Avoiding security risks and Prepare for a new one Permanent constructionS.
9. Audit and redistribute the QMQM fund where the money paid by the employees is kept These funds b Maintenance. Make sure that each region is distributing those resources properly among forests And he is doing it. Those funds are available Fast repair and AgainNovation Current residence.
I’ve always felt that forest engineers are underappreciated, so I like the idea of hiring and, hopefully, appreciating them.