MINOT AIR FORCE BASE - Minot Air Force Base is moving closer to the privatization of its family housing, with the visit of developers to the base later this month.
Lt. Col. Matthew Jefson, commander of the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron at Minot AFB, said that on Jan. 28, developers will be coming to Minot to visit the base and the local area for a site tour.
"It will be just a one-day tour that they'll be here with us and then they'll be hitting all the bases in our group during that time," he told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee meeting at the base Jan. 6.
Eloise Ogden/MDN •
The family housing area at Minot Air Force Base, shown Jan. 13, 2010, has been busy with construction for a number of years as housing is being replaced. Developers will be visiting the base for a tour Jan. 28, as preparations are being made for housing privatization.
Developers and interested parties were scheduled to congregate in Dallas last week for an industry forum when they would look at Minot AFB along with other bases that are in what is called the Northern Group, Jefson said.
One of the big changes to the Minot AFB family housing area in the not too distant future is the privatization effort, Jefson said.
According to Defense Department information, military housing privatization was set up to address two significant problems concerning housing for military members and their families: the poor condition of Department of Defense-owned housing, and a shortage of quality affordable private housing.
Congress established the Military Housing Privatization Initiative in 1996 as a tool to help the industry improve the quality of life for its service members by improving the conditions of their housing. Privatization was part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996 and signed by President Clinton.
The privatization program was set up for private-sector developers who may own, operate, maintain, improve and assume responsibility for military family housing.
Initially, housing privatization was scheduled for an earlier time at Minot AFB but was delayed because of the economy and because the state's congressional delegation had many questions about housing privatization. About a year ago base officials said most of those concerns had been resolved and they felt they can go ahead with the effort.