VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Balfour Beatty recently expanded its list of eligible applicants for Vandenberg Air Force Base housing to include retired Federal Civil Service and DoD Contractor permanent employees who are U.S. citizens. This is in addition to unaccompanied members, Guard and reserve personnel, current Federal Civil Service employees and Retired military who were previously added as eligible applicants to rent on base housing.
The expansion is in response to low occupancy numbers within base housing, with the hope that extending eligibility to a new pool of potential residents will help Balfour Beatty Communities bolster their occupancy rate to reach the Air Force operating goal of 98 percent.
“Occupancy is the life blood of the housing privatization project,” explains Gretchen Swinehart, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Air Force housing management chief. “Every percent of occupancy allows the project to fund normal day to day operating expenses, capital repair and replacement needs like road repairs and playground replacements, and long term reinvestment needs for the homes for the full 50-year term of the project.”
So far, there has been progress towards that goal. Since opening up base housing back in August 2017 to category 3 and 4 applicants — federal civil service employees and military retirees — BBC has picked up twelve new residents, and category 5 and 6 applications from retired Federal Civil Service and DoD contractor permanent employees have already been accepted.
“Opening up on-base housing options to our retired federal civil service employees and DoD contractors gives these individuals an opportunity to enjoy the safety and security of living in an on-base community,” explained Swineheart. “Additionally, it gives our contractors who work on base a shorter commute to work and increases their ability to respond to military and/or mission needs associated with their contract more expediently.”
As BBC looks towards prospective leasers currently living off the base, their focus is on the challenge of spreading the word about the new opportunities in base housing.
“The biggest challenge we've encountered so far is finding a way to get the word out to these populations of people, but we have had a lot of success in letting people know via social media, office visits, open houses, mailers and other means,” said Swineheart. “Overall, it makes sense to attempt to meet the AF occupancy goal of 98 percent by housing individuals who for the most part have had or currently have access to the installation already.”
For more information about the application process and eligibility for base housing, contact the Air Force Housing Management Office at 805-606-3434 or the Balfour Beatty Communities office at 805-734-1445.