A lot of things go through the minds of a military family when the service member receives orders to transfer. Close to, if not at the top of the list, would be military housing and what to expect at the new base. In the days before internet there was no way to know much about the housing on the new base unless you knew someone at your new assignment, or talked to people who had been stationed there at one time or another. In the old military you were expected to take what you got and not complain because Uncle Sam didn’t authorize you a wife and kids in the first place. The new military understands wives and children and realizes that a happy military member is going to work harder and stay in the service longer than an unhappy member. The new military understands that housing is an important issue to the military member and their family. The Department of Defense (DOD) has made many positive changes to military housing in an attempt to create an environment that will make service members happy.
What to Expect For Military Housing
- New or nearly new homes are in place at most military installations. Around 2000 the DOD realized they had 257,000 housing units they were in charge of and 50 percent were substandard. After much discussion a privatization plan was put in place. Civilian housing developers were allowed to bid for housing on a number of military installations. They were to build new homes and manage them for 40 years. They would collect rent, complete all repairs, and manage the base housing. Military members assigned to installations that already have privatized housing receive their basic housing allowance and they can use that money to live on or off base. The military installations that are not yet privatized will be in the near future.
- The new homes are very much like any suburban tract home development. They are stylish and energy efficient. Overall, they are more spacious than older military housing. Developers have designed neighborhoods in base housing and made parks and playgrounds for family members to enjoy. Most homes are either stand-alone houses or duplex homes joined by garages. There are some apartment homes on larger installations.
- Each home will have washer and dryer hookups, a side-by-side refrigerator, built in microwave and a stove. Carpet will be included in each home. Most homes that are three and four bedroom will have two full bathrooms.
- Each home will have a garage.
Have a Look Before You Get There
Each installation that has privatized housing will have a website developed and maintained by the company managing the housing. Google the base that you will be moving to by listing the installation name and the word housing, then enter. Example: Scott Air Force Base housing. This search will bring up the site for the housing for that base. You can then get information about the housing at your base and see pictures of the different neighborhoods and tour each model of the home by seeing pictures. The website will also give you floor plans and measurements so you know exactly what will fit where before you ever move. The website will also give you information on waiting lists and criteria for living in housing.
Military personnel can look forward to having an attractive, modern and spacious Energy Star home in which to raise a family. The family is also allowed to have up to two pets. Housing is open to both enlisted and officers of any rank that has a spouse or spouse and children.