Privitization to improve Bolling's housing
By Karen Finucan Clarkson, Special to the Bolling Aviator
/ Published February 23, 2007
Bolling AFB, Washington D. C. -- Enhanced living quarters, more responsive maintenance and new community amenities will result from the privatization of military housing at Bolling Air Force Base. The Air Force announced this week that it will lease 145 acres of land to BLB Family Housing, LLC and convey all 1, 343 housing units and accompanying infrastructure to the company, a partnership between Hunt ELP, LTD and Pinnacle AMS Development Comanpy, LLC.
Editor - Will those currently in base housing notice any changes when the joint venture companies assume control of the housing stock? If so, what will those changes be?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - The transition should be relatively seamless. The joint owners of the BLB Family Housing, LLC currently manage over 15,000 military family homes on 12 DOD installations. They are committed to building communities and serving military families with professional staff, quality maintenance and open communications with tenants. Through a on-line virtual office web site, tenants will be able to file maintenance requests, view community calendars and complete other transactions. A 24/7 service call program will respond to emergencies and maintenance needs.
Editor - It seems as though the housing stock will be reduced somewhat. What effect, if any, will that have on the ability of families to secure base housing?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - The AF conducts a housing requirements market analysis every 2 to three years the last study conducted in Aug 2005 indicated the surrounding housing market to have an adequate supply of both available and affordable quality housing for families station in the NCR. Yes, Bolling's housing was reduced to 669. Construction of 141 units and the phased reduction by demolition will eliminate inadequate housing over a period of three years.
Editor - Are the swimming pool, community center and athletic fields to be newly constructed? If so, will they supplement or replace existing amenities?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - A community center, two swimming pools and playing fields are proposed to be constructed. These facilities will be for the sole use of housing residents and guests and will supplement existing Bolling AFB amenities.
Editor - Has this type of arrangement been used at other military facilities (if so, any idea where and how long ago it was put into place)? Or is this the first agreement of its type?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - Today, more than 38 percent of Air Force Family Housing does not meet modern standards and requires either major improvement or replacement. The Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), was implemented under the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act, and allows the Air Force to use to quickly modernize existing family housing, using private financing and commercial developers to build and operate military communities. The Air Force expects to enter into contracts to upgrade all inadequate housing by the close of Fiscal Year (FY) 2007.
Editor - What was the impetus for entering into such an agreement?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - The agreement is to provide adequate housing for the men and women of today's air force and to meet the 2007 goal. The Air Force has scheduled 38 installations for housing privatization. These privatization projects will include up to 32,000 housing units throughout the United States.
Editor - Will there be any type of evaluation process to determine the
effectiveness of this new arrangement?
Bolling Military Housing Privatization Office - Tenant satisfaction can be measured by several different methods: surveys, town hall meetings, resident councils and a management review committee.