Home is where the Air Force is

130313-F-QY821-001By Alicia Schweitzer
Northrop Grumman Contractor supporting the Office of the Air Force Civil Engineer, Housing Operations Branch

Life in the Air Force is a unique experience that makes the simple question, “Where are you from?” a little complicated. While most people can easily name their hometown, if you’ve grown up in an Air Force family, your answer may be that home is where the Air Force is.

Airmen and their families live in many different places, have the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of various cultures and make friends all over the world. While the idea of each new adventure can be exciting, the thought of packing and moving (again!) can also be extremely daunting. 

Air Force housing professionals recognize the efforts behind this transition and work to make sure service members and their families are aware of the resources available to them. At each installation, the Air Force Housing Management Office offers a variety of referral and relocation services. Housing professionals counsel members on the different housing options available, provide property listings and offer pre- and post-arrival information so they can find a quality place to live that meets their family’s needs. Support services also range from helping members understand their lease agreements and the necessity for a military release clause to assisting in resident/landlord dispute resolution. Whatever assistance a member may need, the housing office’s knowledge of the local area can often save both time and money.

On behalf of Air Force Housing professionals around the world, congratulations on your new assignment and we encourage you to reach out for personalized service to create a seamless transition to your new home.

In addition to the support provided by the local housing office, the following resources are available to help military families prepare for their next move.

Air Force Housing

An online resource that helps Airmen and their families learn about housing options available at Air Force installations world-wide. The site provides information on family and unaccompanied housing, community amenities, local policies, furnishings and referral and relocation support services. It also provides information on the local community around each installation such as maps, school districts, weather and other useful resources that will help Airmen and their families become familiar with their new home.  If you can’t find the information you need on the Frequently Asked Questions page, use the contact information provided on each Air Force base’s web page to contact the base Housing Management Office directly.
Automated Housing Referral Network

The joint service website provides military members, civilians and contractors with a single source to search for off-base community rental properties, military for sale by owner listings, privatized housing and temporary lodging accommodations located near U.S. military installations. In addition to property listings, AHRN recently announced the launch of RentSmart – a new budgeting tool available on the site. RentSmart breaks down the components of a service member’s Basic Allowance for Housing amount (Estimated rent, utilities and renter’s insurance) and compares it to average rent amounts in their gaining installation’s housing market. This tool gives members better visibility how on their estimated monthly budget can be applied when evaluating housing options at a new installation. Create an account at www.AHRN.com and begin your search!
Military OneSource

A Department of Defense-sponsored website that provides resources, policy and guidance designed to help service members and their families navigate life in the military. Click on “Military Life Topics” and select “Moving” for tools to help plan your move.

Military Installations

A Department of Defense-sponsored website that provides everything service members need to get to know a new installation. Whether you are looking for “Fast Facts,” Youth Programs, spouse employment opportunities or even information on how to ship your pets, this site provides a thorough installation overview and connects members with important local contacts.

PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Eric Houghton, Air Force Global Strike Command, poses March 13 with his family and Mary Ann Schwalbendorf, Balfour Beatty Communities resident specialist, in front of his new base house. Houghton was the first Airman to move into one of the new houses BBC built on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyom.