01. Why is the Air Force privatizing housing?Military families deserve "safe, quality, affordable, well-maintained housing". Recognizing this, DoD has set a goal of upgrading all inadequate housing by 2010. Unfortunately, traditional housing military construction (MILCON) programs for bringing housing up to current standards is not funded sufficiently to meet the goal. In 1996, the Defense Authorization Act authorized the use of private capitol to revitalize housing and the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) was born. Bottom line is that privatization is the best, if not only, way to develop quality housing within a reasonable timeframe.
02. Will I have to pay utilities?Occupants will be required to pay gas and electricity bills on a per month basis. Water and sewer will be provided by the developer. A "utility allowance" will be calculated by the developer based on 110% of the estimated utility cost for each unit type. The utility allowance will be recalculated annually and be based on historic usage for each unit type. This allowance will be subtracted from your BAH to establish your monthly rent. Once meters are installed in each unit, you will be billed directly by the respective utility provider for the amount actually consumed. Exactly when the meters are installed will depend on the developer. How utilities are paid until then will also be up to the developer. One way it may work is that the developer will simply charge the occupant the entire BAH to cover rent and utilities.
03. What will be my "out of pocket" expenses once privatization is initiated?A major goal in developing the Request for Proposal for Housing Privatization was to minimize potential out of pocket expenses for military members as much as possible. However, the main item that may require some additional out of pocket expense is utilities. The "utilities allowance" is calculated as 110% of the estimated utility cost (gas and electricity only) for each unit type (see Response to Question 2). Once meters are installed, utilities cost will be based on how much is actually consumed. If the cost for the amount consumed exceeds the allowance, out of pocket expenses will be incurred. On the flip side, if the cost of the amount consumed is below the allowance, the money left over is "into pocket."
04. I'm already living in base housing. Will I have to move out of my current unit once privatization is initiated?Of the 2,928 housing units being conveyed to the developer, approximately 1,983 will require demolition or a level of construction that will require units to be vacant. As such, the majority of occupants should expect to move to accommodate the construction schedule. An actual schedule of construction activities for each particular unit/increment will not be determined until after the developer is selected.
05. If I have to move to a different school district, will my children have to change schools?We are working this issue with local school districts.
06. If I live in a real "drafty" house, will I get more BAH to compensate for my increased utility expense?No. BAH is limited by law. However, one of the reasons utility allowance (see Question 2) is calculated as 110% of expected utilities cost is to allow for differences in energy efficiency from unit to unit. Over the years, several projects have been completed within the housing areas to improve energy efficiency. These include window replacements, installation of ext erior siding, increased insulation, etc. These efforts will continue through the privatization effort. Improving energy efficiency within existing units is listed as one of the major requirements for developers. Aside from these planned improvements, housing occupants should also realize that they may need to be become more active in operating their heating/cooling system to further increase efficiencies and minimize costs.
07. Will I have to start paying utility bills before my unit is renovated?Tenants will start paying utilities once their units are metered, which depends upon the developer's timelines for installation. Houses scheduled for demolition will not be metered.
08. How will the housing referral process change once privatization begins?The referral process will still be managed by the Air Force so no significant changes to the current process are expected.
09. Is it true that members of the general public will be allowed to live on base?Individuals other than referred military members will be offered housing only if occupancy rates fall below 95%. Any lease to a nonreferred occupant will be limited to one year and the rent will be based on market conditions (i.e., not BAH). Also, the Developer will be allowed to rent only enough units to non-referred members to bring the occupancy rate back up to 95%. When making units available to those other than referred military, the developer is required to use the following "hierarchy":
Immediately when occupancy drops below 95%:
1. Other Active Duty members of the Uniformed Services/families
2. Guard & Reserve Military members/families
Upon 30 consecutive days of occupancy below 95%
1. Federal Civil Service employees
2. Retired military members/families
3. Retired Federal Civil Service
Upon 60 consecutive days of occupancy below 95%
DoD Contractor/Permanent Employees (US Citizens)
Upon 60 consecutive days of occupancy below 95%
10. How will the base maintain security?Security and Force Protection will still be the responsibility of the Air Force. However, the developer will be required to implement several security features to increase public safety and reduce fear of crime. This includes constructing a perimeter fence to create a gated community with controlled access, constructing additional gate houses, and other security features.
11. What if the lights go out or I have another maintenance problem?The developer will be responsible for performing all housing maintenance activities at a performance level similar to that of the current housing maintenance contractor.
14. Are Eglin/Hurlburt/Edwards the only bases going through this Privatization?No. This is a DoD wide effort. Almost every DoD installation will undergo privatization. Even if you are a current housing occupant that may not be impacted by the Eglin/Hurlburt/Edwards privatization effort (due to PCS), you will most likely see the same thing occurring at other bases. This is one of the main reasons it is important for military families to become educated on housing privatization regardless of how long they might remain at Eglin/Hurlburt/Edwards.
15. If I am forced to move so my unit can be renovated, will I have to move into a unit that has not been renovated?While we would like to say that this is not a possibility, the decision will be up to the Developer and how they plan their work. On the surface, it would not make economic sense for the developer to move someone into a unit only to have to move that someone again (the first move will be at government expense while any subsequent forced moves are at the developer's expense).
16. After the units are privatized, how will they be inspected and to what detail when I move out?Vacate inspection procedures will most likely be specified in the lease between the developer and occupant (much like it is done downtown). Details will not available until the developer is identified.