Fort Leonard Wood Family Housing is opening a limited number of on-post Family homes for rent by military retirees and Gold Star Family members.

Three and four-bedroom units in the Stonegate neighborhood are currently available to military retirees; however , inventory will fluctuate based on the demands of active-duty Soldiers, who have first priority for all Family housing, said Fort Leonard Wood housing officials.

"With military downsizing and other market conditions, there has been a decrease in occupancy for certain home styles and neighborhoods within Family housing on Fort Leonard Wood," said Shawna Swanson, Balfour Beatty Communities community manager.

Balfour Beatty Communities manages all on-post Family housing at Fort Leonard Wood through a public-private partnership with the Army.

"If homes are not being filled by active-duty personnel, we offer opportunities for other eligible renters who pass our screening process to live in one of these homes. Occupied homes make for a more vibrant community and also ensure adequate funding is in place to sustain ongoing renovations to the property, as well as new homes and amenities for our residents," Swanson said.

Swanson said the advantages of living on-post are many.

"Some utilities are included in monthly rental, and there are no hook-up fees. Curbside trash pick-up, recycle pick-up and water-usage charges are also included in the monthly rent. Additionally, all upkeep and regular yard and home maintenance is provided, including 24-hour emergency services," Swanson said.

"Other amenities include community centers with fitness facilities, playgrounds, outdoor pavilions, sports courts, pools, splash parks and dog parks. Military retirees also benefit from on-post housing being close to Family support and base-convenience facilities," she added.

This is why Randy Cheniault, Logistics Readiness Center director, spent Monday moving his Family into a home on post.

He retired from the military in 2003, after completing 23 years of service. The Cheniault Family arrived on post last month after living in Daegu, South Korea, since 1999.

"Throughout my active-duty service and now career as a civil servant, I have always lived on post or in close proximity. Living on post allows me the opportunity of being close to work and a chance to experience the quality of housing that has improved since the years of my active-duty days," Cheniault said. "As a retiree, I will still have an opportunity to experience the living quarters and environment that my Family and I are accustomed to."

"The benefits for my Family are that we do not have to travel too far to access the Exchange, commissary, gyms, recreational and medical facilities," he added.

Swanson said as far as screening and security is concerned, interested applicants must qualify through the housing office, successfully completing comprehensive credit, criminal and background checks.

Monthly rental rates for retirees are based on market rental rates and the specific home style.

"Fort Leonard Wood now joins the ranks of many other military installations around the country that are already leasing Family homes to military retirees," Swanson said.

"The ability to live on post at Fort Leonard Wood is a truly unique opportunity. Retirees are an important part of our community, and we look forward to welcoming them to our community," she added.

Three-bedroom homes range in square footage from 1,197 to 1,856 and price ranges from $1,040 to $1,085 per month. Four-bedroom homes are from 1,309 to 2,164 square feet and range from $1,150 to $1,280 per month.

Families interested in moving onto Fort Leonard Wood can ask for information from the Balfour Beatty Communities leasing office at 844.325.4583 or online at www.ftlwoodfamilyhousing.com.

Applicants from the newly eligible category will be required to pass installation background checks and meet credit and income requirements.