Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Town hall meeting provides housing information answers

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy Foster) PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Airman 1st Class Hunter Black, 4th Space Operations Squadron, and his wife Melissa, gather floor-plan handouts prior to attending a town hall meeting in the base auditorium May 5. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information and answers to questions concerning the housing privatization project currently under construction at Peterson and Schriever AFB.

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy Foster) PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Airman 1st Class Hunter Black, 4th Space Operations Squadron, and his wife Melissa, gather floor-plan handouts prior to attending a town hall meeting in the base auditorium May 5. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information and answers to questions concerning the housing privatization project currently under construction at Peterson and Schriever AFB.

Schriever and Peterson Airmen and their families gathered at Peterson’s base theater for a town hall meeting to get new information regarding the privatized housing project, currently under construction at both bases.

The first families from Schriever are scheduled to move in as early as September 2009, with more moving each month throughout the next few years.

Attendees were treated to a barbecue cookout of hamburgers and hotdogs prior to the meeting. As they made their way inside, they were given copies of floor plans and the slides to be briefed during the meeting.

Col. Cary Chun, 50th Space Wing commander, Col. John Raymond, 21st Space Wing commander, Bob Mathis, Vice President-Air Force Portfolio Management, Actus Lend Lease, representatives from Actus Lend Lease, Tierra Vista Communities, 21st Medical Group and Ellicott School officials were on hand to answer questions and provide information regarding the upcoming move.

The following are some frequently asked questions dealing with privatized housing, including many asked at the May 5 town hall meeting. The following will provide some additional information when considering privatized housing here at Schriever. The answers are based on current Air Force policy and closing documents and are subject to change based on revised Air Force policy. In addition to these FAQs, please ensure to review the Tenant Lease Agreement and Tenant Handbook.

What will my rent amount be for privatized housing?

Rental rates are determined based on pay grade. The initial member’s rent will not exceed the Basic Allowance for Housing at the with-dependent rate for the designated military pay grade. Example: BAH at the with-dependent rate is $1,000; rent will be $1,000 which includes all utilities, grounds maintenance and renter’s insurance. However, once a member is responsible for utilities, the rent will be reduced by 110 percent of the actual utility consumption. Example: BAH at the with dependent rate is $1,000; the utility allowance is $100 and rent will be $900. The member will retain $100 to pay utilities.

What utilities are included in the rent?

Initially all utilities, except for telephone and cable, will be included in the rent. Approximately one year after construction (November 2011), the occupant will be responsible for their own utilities. Only water, garbage and sewer will continue to be included in the rent.

What utilities will I be responsible for?

Residents will always be responsible for telephone and cable. The residents will also be responsible for electricity and gas after the initial development period and mock billing.

My spouse and I are both military. I am a master sergeant and receive the with-dependent rate and my spouse collects single rate for a Technical Sgt. What would our rent be for privatized housing?

Rent is at the with-dependent rate of the senior ranking military member (master sergeant rate). Your spouse will continue to draw single rate. Again, rent will change once the resident pays his/her utilities.

How will I pay rent?

Rent will be paid through an allotment directly to the project owner. Tierra Vista Communities will prepare the necessary documents to have the allotment started/stopped. These documents will be accomplished the same time as completing your lease. If the servicemember is not receiving their BAH entitlement, they are responsible for starting that entitlement. This can be accomplished by visiting the finance office at Schriever.

Will there be any upfront costs?

Possibly. If the tenant has pets, there is a non-refundable fee that will be required. Additionally, if the move into privatized housing occurs after the first of the month, rent for the remaining days in the month will be due upon move in. Example: You move into housing on the fifth of the month. You will be required to pay for those days left in that month. After that your allotment will kick in and your rent will be paid in arrears. Example: allotment paid in July for June’s rent.

What is the amount of the non-refundable pet fee?

The current amount of the non-refundable pet fee is $200 per household.

Are there any restrictions on what type of pets I can have, or any dog breed restrictions?

Yes. The policy is to allow up to two pets (besides those in cages or aquariums), with the exception of puppies and kittens up to 8 weeks old. Types of pets that can be kept are: most breeds of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, domestic rabbits, white mice and white rats (from the USA), caged birds and fish in bowls or aquariums. Current restriction on breeds is: rottweiler, pit bull or mixed breeds of pit bull or rottweiler lineage.

What type of renter’s insurance is included in my rent?

Tierra Vista Communities provides a limited renter’s insurance policy for each family. There is a $250 deductible and coverage of personal property replacement is up to $20,000, with a liability coverage of $100,000 for resident and family members.

Will I sign a lease for privatized housing?

Yes, you will be required to sign a one-year lease. Thereafter you will be on a month-to-month rental agreement.

If I PCS to a new location which has a lower BAH and received approval to allow my family to stay in privatized housing for several months until the school season ends, how will my BAH allotment be handled? Will I have to pay the difference in BAH amounts? What if I move to a higher BAH area, can I pocket the difference?

Military members need to consult their military pay office to determine their authorized BAH. Rent for privatized housing is based on the BAH for the area where the privatized housing is located. If the authorized BAH is lower than the rent for the privatized unit, the member pays the difference. If the BAH is higher, the member retains the difference. This applies to a member who may go on a remote assignment for a year and the family stays behind in privatized housing.

If I am sent on a remote assignment for a year and my family stays behind in privatized housing, can I break my lease at any time for any reason?

Yes. However, if you are in a lease, there may be a penalty fee associated with termination. Consult your lease agreement.

Is there a military release clause in the lease?

Yes, there is a military release clause for members who receive orders. However, there will still be a requirement to give the appropriate written notice to terminate.

What type of notice must I provide if I wish to move out of privatized housing for PCS purposes?

The appropriate notice will be explained in your lease; however, normally the requirement is a 30-day written notice.

What happens if I don’t provide the appropriate notice to move out?

If you fail to give the appropriate notice you will be charged for additional rent days. Example: You give notice on the 15th of the month that you are moving out on the 30th of the month. You will be charged for an additional 15 days rent to complete your full 30-day notice to vacate.

What if I receive “short notice” PCS orders and I cannot provide a written 30-day notice to vacate?

If you receive “short notice” PCS orders and are unable to provide a sufficient 30-day notice to vacate, you will not be charged as long as the “short notice” PCS orders are valid. Tierra Vista Communities will require the servicemember to validate the “short notice” PCS orders with a letter from the servicemember’s chain of command. Example: Orders state to report no later than Sept. 30, 2009, and the orders were printed in September 2009 – the 30-day notice would be waived.

What if I want to move out of privatized housing to purchase a home?

Upon moving into privatized housing, you will be required to sign a one-year lease. If you elect to move out before the lease has expired, you may be charged an early termination fee. You will need to consult your tenant lease agreement for any penalties. This applies whether you are purchasing or renting another home located in the local community.

Can I be evicted from privatized housing?

Yes, Tierra Vista Communities property management office may initiate eviction proceedings for failure to comply with the provisions of the tenant lease.

Will I be given a government move if I move into privatized housing?

The government will pay for one government move into privatized housing.

If I have too much furniture, will the government store my excess furniture?

Yes, however, there are restrictions on what items can and can’t be stored. The housing management office can provide additional information.

Will I be given a government move if I move out of privatized housing after one year?

No. If you voluntarily move out of privatized housing, the move will be at your own expense.

Who do I call for maintenance?

Tierra Vista Communities will have their own housing maintenance. At the time of lease signing you will be given all the important phone numbers.

What is the normal turnaround time for a maintenance service call?

For routine maintenance, TVC has three working days to respond; for urgent work orders, TVC will have eight hours; and for emergency work orders, TVC must respond within one hour.

Will I be able to schedule an appointment for maintenance work?

Yes, you can schedule an appointment for any repair work. The appointment is done for a two-hour window. Example: Your appointment is for 10 a.m., the appointment time would be 10 a.m. to noon.

What type of cleaning requirements is in place when I get ready to move out of privatized housing?

Tierra Vista Communities’ handbook will outline the cleaning requirements that must be met in order to clear privatized housing. The current cleaning requirement is “broom swept.”

Will there be a self-help Store?

Yes, TVC plans on having a self-help store. They will also provide delivery service for some items. Because of safety and liability issues, TVC will provide a limited amount of items. A list of those items will be available at time of lease signing.

How many bedrooms will I be eligible for?

Normally, you are assigned a home based on your family size. However, at Schriever, there will be no two-bedroom homes constructed; therefore you will be assigned a home with a minimum of three bedrooms. To qualify for four bedrooms, you will need to have at least three children.

I’ve heard about “renting up.” What does that mean?

“Renting up” means if you qualify for a certain type of home and you want to rent a larger home, you can request it, and if approved, pay rent that is above your BAH at the with-dependent rate. Example: You are a staff sergeant (junior NCO requirement) and you request to rent a senior master sergeant (senior NCO requirement) home. If there is no one on the SNCO waiting list, you could request and be approved to rent that home, but your rent would be equivalent to the senior master sergeant BAH at the with-dependent rate; thus “renting up.”

Will non-military families be allowed to live in privatized family housing?

The closing documents require the occupancy to remain at 95 percent or higher. If occupancy drops below 95 percent, Tierra Vista Communities can offer to a “waterfall list.” If this does occur, TVC must accomplish a credit check and criminal background check on all prospective tenants that are non military. Each tenant that is from the “waterfall” category signs a one-year lease and will generally be charged a “market rent.” These rents will not be lower or more favorable than the rent paid by a military tenant who signed a tenant lease agreement within the previous 30 days.

What is the “waterfall list?”

There are seven categories in the “waterfall list.”

1: Unaccompanied, single or other active duty members of the uniformed services/families

2: National Guard and reserve military members/families

3: Federal civil service employees

4: Retired military members/families

5: Retired federal civil service employees

6: Department of Defense contractors, permanent employees (U.S. citizens)

7: General public

I am a single Airman. Can I reside in privatized housing and what would I pay for rent?

Yes, it is possible for single Airmen to reside in privatized housing if occupancy drops below 95 percent and housing is being offered to Category 1 of the “waterfall list.” The rent that would be charged would be BAH with dependent for the type of home that is being rented. Example: Home is categorized as a junior NCO, the BAH at the with-dependent rate for the lowest rank for junior NCO (E-1) would be the rent for that particular house.

What if I have family or friends come to visit? How will I get them access to the installation?

A list of visitors can be provided to the 50th Security Forces Squadron and entry will be authorized. For larger social functions, the list of attendees can be provided and the list will be posted at the gates. If the visitor(s) are staying for more than a day, temporary passes will be issued by 50th SFS. Passes can be obtained the day of the visit/event or in advance of the function/visit.

Will my yard be inspected?

Yes, yards will be inspected; however, your primary area of responsibility will be the fenced in backyard, as the other areas outside of the fence will be maintained by TVC. Additionally, the backyard will have a sprinkler system to assist you in maintaining the yard. You will be responsible for ensuring toys, bicycles, trash cans, etc., are placed in the appropriate areas and not left out in the front yard, driveway and curbside.

I like to do yard work. Will I be allowed to do my entire yard?

Yes. If you want to maintain the front yard as well as the backyard, TVC will provide you with a sign that states, “This yard is proudly maintained by the resident.”

Will there be restrictions on what I can plant in my front or back yard?

Yes. Before you remove or plant any plants, you will be required to submit an Alteration’s Request Form to TVC to go under review for approval/denial by the community manager.

Can TVC enter my house at anytime?

Generally no, unless there is an emergency situation. Normally, property management will provide the appropriate notice before entering your home. This will all be explained in your tenant handbook and during the lease signing.

I am in a key and essential position. Can I remain off base?

You will be required to submit a waiver request to the housing management office, which in turn will route the package up to the installation commander, who will approve/disapprove your request.

Can I run a home business out of my house?

Resident may, with written permission of management, conduct a residential business in the home. Residents conducting a business (for example, child care) will be required to comply with and are subject to inspection for compliance with government standards. No door-to-door soliciting will be allowed, no advertising signs shall be posted in the home or otherwise on the premises and no interior or exterior structural modifications or additions shall be made to accommodate resident’s residential business. Full details are outlined in the lease agreement.

Can I do interior changes (i.e. painting/wallpapering) to my home, or put holes in the walls?

You can only do changes if you have requested and received approval from the property management office. As for holes/stickers, these are not authorized (inside or outside). Only small nail holes are authorized.

Can we use the community center for family gatherings?

Yes. More information can be obtained from TVC prior to scheduling your gathering. Additionally, TVC will hold functions for the entire community. TVC will advertise these functions in their monthly newsletter.

What is being planned for Schriever as far as shopping?

At this time, the shoppette will be enlarged and more food items will be introduced. Additionally, Army and Air Force Exchange Service plans on having a Subway next to Einstein Bros. Bagels.

What about doctor appointments? Will I have to go to Peterson or some other base?

The 21st Medical Group has stated that families living on SAFB can be seen by the doctor currently located at SAFB. If being seen elsewhere, the member will need to change to the SAFB doctor. At this time, the doctor can also see expectant mothers, as long as it is not a high-risk pregnancy.

With the homes not coming on line until September, can I register my children at Ellicott? What about transportation?

Ellicott has stated all children can be enrolled in the next school year. Transportation between SAFB and Ellicott will be provided until the homes are actually occupied. Additionally, the Airman and Family Readiness Center will provide a before and after school program.

What type of activities will be available for children/families?

Once construction is all complete, there will be several playgrounds, sports fields, indoor pool and a splash park available to all residents. Group activities will be sponsored/encouraged by the residents; as well as TVC has an excellent activity plan, where they are always doing resident activities. Additionally, the fitness center will be expanding their hours of operation.

What type of cable/internet service will be available in the home?

The system being installed in each home will be a significant upgrade from what many residents in the private sector have. Service will provide a much faster upload and download of data compared to Comcast and true digital signal for television service. Qwest/El Paso Telephone will be offering the bundle package which will include telephone, internet and Direct TV.

For more information, contact Judy Dickson with the Schriever housing office at 567-5069.

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