Every aspect of American life has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including where military families will live.
To stop the spread of the virus, the Department of Defense froze Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves for at least 60 days which, while necessary, places some military families in a precarious housing situation. Families planning to PCS may have already given notice on a lease or be in the process of selling their home in a location where they are now ordered to stay. For these families, on top of everything else, COVID-19 might soon make them homeless.
MFAN brought these concerns to the attention of Hunt Military Communities, a privatized military housing provider. We asked that Hunt consider the unprecedented option of changing lease term policies to make vacant, clean, and safe homes on military installations available for military families who are at risk.
Hunt quickly agreed and encouraged their Military Housing Privatization Initiative counterparts to do the same. “At Hunt, we are committed to doing our part to assist our military families during this difficult time,” said John Ehle, President of Hunt Military Communities. “Our teams are working to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our military communities, and this is a clear demonstration of how we can all work together in an impactful way.”
Because these changes are happening so rapidly, implementation plans are being created at this time. We will update this story as more plans are made and as more information becomes available.
At this time, military families who need emergency housing because of the PCS freeze should contact their local installation housing office to ask about available accommodations. Several private companies manage military housing and each will have their own specific process for handling temporary housing for military families, though it is likely that those processes will be similar.
The process that Hunt plans to follow will be for service members to sign the regular 12-month lease, but then also sign a specific COVID-19 addendum to the lease that will allow them to terminate the lease after 60 days if they need to. They will be allowed to stay for the full lease term (12 months) if they want or need to, but the addendum will allow them to terminate with a minimum of 60-days or Orders, which always allow for a lease termination under the standard military lease.
Military families will not have to pay a security deposit or an application fee when moving into housing on the installation, a standard practice that might be unfamiliar to families used to living in the community.
The following privatized housing companies have already risen to the occasion to support military families:
Hunt Military Communities
Balfour Beatty Communities
Corvias Property Management
Lincoln Military Housing
“The swift action of privatized military housing contractors will give military families a safety net and lessen their overall stress during these highly stressful times,” said Shannon Razsadin, executive director of MFAN. “This is an example of how we can all rise to the occasion, get rid of red tape, and support each other during difficult times.”