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Demolition begins in Vandenberg's East Housing

Vandenberg's East Housing units are being prepared for demolition.  633 houses have been slated for demolition due to their dilapidated condition.  The families will be moved to homes in Vandenberg's West Housing.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan Prost)

Vandenberg's East Housing units are being prepared for demolition. 633 houses have been slated for demolition due to their dilapidated condition. The families will be moved to homes in Vandenberg's West Housing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan Prost)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's East Housing has begun the process of demolition as families have started moving from the dilapidated homes there to houses on the main base. 

At a recent industry forum, in which potential contract bidders came to the base to discuss housing privatization, it was decided that the residents in East Housing would have to be moved prior to contractor selection in December 2007. 

"Upon hearing this news, the Housing Office took the initiative to personally call all 103 occupants residing in East Housing to find out if they had orders to change duty stations, retire or separate from service before December," said Deborah Buck, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron chief of assistance for housing. "We did this in hopes to ascertain what our requirements will be when we are directed to relocate the families." 

East Housing was not considered for inclusion in the privatization initiative due to the current state of degradation of the houses and the infrastructure supporting them. 

"The homes that are being torn down are close to 50 years old," said Col. Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander. "Many of them have already been deemed unlivable; and it's not just the houses. It's the infrastructure supporting the houses, the pipes, sewage lines and wiring that no longer meets even the lowest acceptable standards." 

There are at least three phases of demolition for East Housing. The first one is underway and is 500 days of demolition. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2008. The second and final phases are currently being processed, but dates are unknown at this time. 

In the meantime, affected families will move on to main base or in to the surrounding communities. 

"Although we worry we may have a shortfall and some families may have to relocate to the community, it is our desire to relocate families to Main Base if at all possible," Ms. Buck said. 

This means the possible re-designation of some units in West Housing, such as designating some officer housing as senior NCO housing. 

All families concerned will be moved at government expense and will receive a partial dislocation allowance of approximately $600 to help with incidentals such as the cost of transferring cable and phone lines. 

"We are committed to providing the best possible houses for our Airmen," Colonel Weinstein said. "Over time, this means replacing all our 50s and 60s vintage homes with new homes as part of housing privatization. This is an important step in that process." 

The Housing Office will hold Town Hall meetings to inform the community and address all concerns. Town Hall times and dates will be released as scheduled.