PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (May 12, 2022) – Peak permanent change of station season has begun, and Presidio of Monterey school liaison and housing officials are ready to help incoming personnel make a successful transition to the Monterey area.
A carefully planned PCS not only improves quality of life by cutting down on stress, but contributes to increased readiness.
The first decision many families want to make before choosing a home is the school their children will attend. Elaine Vrolyks, PoM school liaison officer, provides all schooling information for the Monterey Peninsula, including public, private, charter and home-school options.
While schools usually have minimal staffing during the summer months, Vrolyks said she is available throughout the year to answer questions.
“It is important to understand that they have options for school choice,” Vrolyks said. “I am also a resource for them with any questions or concerns about their child’s school experience.”
Parents can reach Vrolyks at (831) 242-6904, (831) 915-0542 or https://www.facebook.com/PresidioSLO. For more information, visit https://presidio.armymwr.com/programs/school-support-services.
Oscar Ordonez, head of housing for U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, said the installation’s Army privatized housing company, The Parks at Monterey Bay, provides 2,400 homes and another 108 under construction.
Ord Military Community in Seaside includes 1,692 homes; La Mesa Village in Monterey has 667; there are 37 historic houses on the Presidio; and four on Naval Support Activity Monterey, Ordonez said. Most families live at OMC and LMV in rank-banded areas, while key and essential personnel live at the Presidio and NSAM.
Inbound military members can in-process with the garrison housing office by calling the main office at (831) 242-7979, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the housing office at Bldg. 4250 General Jim Moore Blvd., OMC, Seaside.
Everyone who in-processes receives a 19-page, locally generated welcome packet that contains a wide variety of information to help ease the transition, Ordonez said.
In addition to an in-processing form, a list of housing services and frequently used numbers, the packet also provides links to fair housing information, current Basic Allowance for Housing rates, a list of local property managers and a host of other important information, Ordonez said.
Families can learn more about housing in the Monterey area by searching the Army Housing Online User Services, or “AHOUS,” website at https://www.housing.army.mil. The Army also recently released an app of the same name that is available on the Apple app store or Google Play.
Another resource is the Department of Defense’s Military OneSource “Plan My Move” website, which provides tips about housing, transportation, finances and more.
Off-post housing is also an option for many service members. Ruby Sutton, housing manager for USAG PoM, said the garrison housing office can help with searches by visiting and inspecting homes for people before they arrive in the area.
Depending on time constraints and personnel availability for inspections, the office can provide video chat, FaceTime or pictures, Sutton said.
Once service members have secured an off-post residence, the office also provides counseling to ensure members are aware of their rights and responsibilities, Sutton said. The office provides a lease review upon request, can facilitate between landlords and the service members, and can also assist with housing discrimination concerns.
Sutton said it’s important for single and geographically separated Soldiers and Marines between the ranks of E1 and E5 to know they must receive permission to reside off post.
Renters should also know that almost all landlords in the state of California require a full 30-day notice to vacate. Some require notice in a specific manner and with a specific form.
“It is imperative that members read and understand the terms of the lease prior to signing to ensure they understand both their rights and responsibilities,” Sutton said. “Understanding what’s been agreed to is the best way to ensure there are no issues when preparing to leave.”
All personnel should visit the office by phone, email or in person to obtain information that can help prevent problems down the road.