Housing renovation plan seeing results for residents
April 19, 2012
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 19) -- Military Families assigned to Fort Belvoir are choosing to live on post more than they have in the past.
Housing occupancy on post is at 99 percent due in large part to the services and amenities available to servicemembers and their Families, and the cost to live on post.
"People want to live here at The Villages at Belvoir because our homes are beautiful and spacious," said Janelle Carutis, Pinnacle Family of Companies marketing manager. "The services we offer include free lawn care, free trash service and 24-hour maintenance. The amenities offered include free use of the pool at Woodlawn Village, use of their 24-hour fitness center and free use of the neighborhood centers for parties and events. Servicemembers would not be able to find our value for the same price off post."
The free lawn and trash services are a big help to the residents on post, said Sgt. Fletcher Gist, Garrison Command Group, noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
"It takes a lot off my plate," said Gist. "The only part of the lawn we have to worry about is a little spot inside the fence that we live in."
A resident of George Washington Village, Gist was unaware of the free service until he read it in an information packet he received from Pinnacle Family of Companies when he moved on post. He said his son's were pleased to find out about it as well.
"They were happy," said a chuckling Gist. "They were like 'The only thing we have to (mow) is this little part inside the fence? OK, we can do that. '"
The renovation of Belvoir's' on post housing began in 2003 under the Army's Residential Communities Initiative Program.
One result of the renovation is more Families wanting to live on post, said Casey Nolan, Clark Realty Capital, LLC, Project Director.
"The quality and size of the new and renovated homes completed by Fort Belvoir Residential Communities over the past eight years has resulted in more Families wanting to live on post," Nolan said. "There may be other factors related to the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital opening may have had an effect. But, FBRC can only speculate as to the other factors that have increased demand."
The number of homes on Belvoir represents 20 to 25 percent of the total military Families in an area. The same holds true for Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.
For the National Capital Region, there are about 11,000 Families assigned to the area.
"The 11,000 Families includes only the areas served by Belvoir, Myer and McNair," said Nolan. "However, in general, each installation satisfies 20 to 25 percent of the housing need on that installation. The majority of Families live off post, and the program was set up that way intentionally to rely on the market to satisfy most of the housing needs."