Local

August 10, 2012

Base housing changes underway

by Airman 1st Class David Owsianka
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Over the past few months there have been several changes made in base housing such as to its appearance, who is allowed to live there and what Balfour Beaty Communities offers for residents.

According to Robert Worley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Asset Management Flight chief, BBC has renovated older homes and built 101 new homes, a community center, better playgrounds and a pool.

BBC has several goals to help improve base housing. The plan includes the removal of dead trees, improving some of the yard landscape and asking residents to make yard care a priority.

BBC wants to take a team approach to improving housing. Worley said that BBC recently removed about 50 trees. The cost was about $2,000 per tree.

But, there are things that residents can do that would add to the improvements BBC has already done and plans to do.

There are two issues Worley sees often in base housing.

“Some yards have an overwhelming amount of dog feces,” he said. “When people don’t pick up their dog’s feces, it becomes a health and smell issue. Residents mowing the grass and pulling weeds regularly will upgrade the appearance of housing.”

BBC provides lawn mowers, hoses and other items needed to help maintain a lawn. BBC also takes care of vacant homes.

If requested, BBC will assist families by doing yard maintenance like mowing and weeding during the time a family member is deployed.

Availability to living on base depends on the occupancy rate. If it’s at 95 percent or higher, only active-duty military members with dependants can live there.

If it goes below 95 percent, then it’s opened to single Airmen, Air Force Reservists and National Guard, federal civil services employees, retired military, retired federal civil services and Defense Department contractors.

The occupancy rate for base housing is currently at 91 percent.

BBC also provides services for residents living in base housing. Every quarter, BBC offers events and programs such as picnics, dance classes and other activities.

It is a win-win for military personnel and their families, said Mary Watson, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron housing manager.

“Privatized housing offers personnel the opportunity to live in a close-knit community where they can live, work, play and feel safe,” she said.

“We ask that military personnel continue to take pride in their home and surrounding community,” Watson said.




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