WASHINGTON - With the permanent change of station (PCS) season right around the corner, Sailors and families are urged to turn to their Navy Housing Service Centers (HSC) for assistance to select the housing that best suit their needs.

The centers, which are located Navy-wide, provide a range of services and resources to help service members and families make housing choices, process applications and manage waitlists.

"The HSC staff provides professional assistance to guide you in your home-finding experience," said Greg Wright, Navy Housing director for Commander, Navy Installations Command. "They are committed to supporting our Sailors and families, and will even advocate on their behalf by providing issue resolution with landlords if needed."

The Housing Early Assistance Tool (HEAT) assists service members and families in obtaining housing information Navy-wide. Service members and families can start the housing process at multiple Navy installations online before or after they receive their permanent change of station orders. HEAT creates an easy user experience to connect with your next duty station. Spouses can also use the assistance tool, needing only minimal information about their service member. To access HEAT, go to www.cnic.navy.mil/HEAT.

Sailors and families can apply for housing through the service center or HEAT at any time, but applications will not be fully processed until all required documents are submitted. When applying to Navy-owned or privatized housing, make sure you have the following documentation: Application for Assignment to Housing (DD Form 1746), Sex Offender Policy Acknowledgement & Disclosure Form, completed PCS orders, and all dependent certification documents.

There are three housing options available to Sailors and families – Public-Private Venture Housing (PPV), government housing, which is located overseas, and community housing. For Sailors living in the continental U.S. and in Hawaii, many select to live in privatized housing.

Active duty military personnel with dependents are eligible for and are the primary residents of privatized family housing. This creates a built-in, tight-knit neighborhood that is unique to military family housing.

There are several benefits associated with PPV housing, to include no security deposit when rent is paid by allotment and rent is due in alignment with the service member’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). There are also no application or credit check fees and service members cannot be denied a lease due to negative credit checks. PPV residents also have the option of selecting a six-month or 12-month lease.

PPV rent includes basic utilities, such as average electricity use, trash collection, water, sewer and common area grounds and facility care. Privatized neighborhoods often include 24-hour maintenance, free events for children and families as well as additional amenities, such as courtesy patrols, recreation centers, gyms, pools and playgrounds.

"Sailors and families should compare PPV housing with other rental options available prior to making a housing decision," Wright said. "Even after residents move into their homes, if they encounter issues, it is best to communicate directly to the PPV housing manager. If the issue is not resolved, service members and families are encouraged to contact the Navy Housing Center for further assistance."

PPV housing is managed much the same way as community rentals; however, it is owned by a private entity and governed by a business agreement between the private entity and the Navy. The private entity is responsible for the construction, renovation, maintenance and day-to-day management of the housing. Privatized housing may be located on or off an installation. In many cases, the privatized housing is former military housing. As with community housing, a lease agreement must be signed with the landlord and rent is capped so it is never higher than the BAH with dependents rate.

"The choice is yours, but no matter what housing option you decide to take, the Navy Housing staff is available to provide assistance," Wright said.

If you have issues with privatized housing, you can contact Navy Housing Headquarters at NavyHousingHQ@navy.mil.

Those interested in learning more about the PPV housing options can contact their local HSC. HSC contact information is available at www.cnic.navy.mil/ContactHousing.

Connecticut Media Group