Navy housing could be privatized

The U.S. Navy has decided to follow a popular trend — privatizing naval housing.

Increasingly, the government is partnering with private companies to introduce the efficiency of a non-bureaucratic management body (the private company) with solid federal/military funding.

Through the privatization of military housing — known as a public-private venture (PPV) — civilian contractors in partnership with the military will build, manage and operate selected military housing communities.

As residents, families get the benefits of living in a military neighborhood plus the efficient service of a professional management company.

Two Navy PPV housing communities already exist in the Northwest: Naval Station Everett, and all family housing at nearby Fort Lewis, was privatized in 2002. Navy PPV ventures are also well along in San Diego and Hawaii. The Navy is now in the process of privatizing most of its remaining housing in the Northwest region, both on and off base.

Target date for phase one is October 2004. All Navy housing in West Sound is included except the 870 units at Jackson Park. Jackson Park privatization will be addressed in a later second phase due to environmental issues.

“The Navy’s policy and approach are to make the transition as seamless as possible for the residents. The most significant change will be that residents will begin receiving their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and will be responsible for paying rent/utilities themselves,” said Rick Huling, deputy public affairs officer, Navy Region Northwest. “Navy housing is generally 95-99 percent occupied at any time.”

A lot still needs to be done, including selection of a private contractor to manage Navy housing and details of how it will all work, he said.

There are two town meetings scheduled. One is already past — Monday, Oct 27. The second meeting is today, Wednesday, Oct 29, 7 p.m, Submarine Base Bangor, Chapel.

Call (206) 220-6530 for information.

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