Where Families Choose to Live
There are a number of factors that affect where a family chooses to live: schools, proximity to work, availability, affordability, and neighborhood. In each research effort, MFAN asks military families what they value and why they choose to live on or off base.
Here’s what we’ve learned.
In 2014, 2017, and 2019, the top reasons for living off-base were (in no particular order):
- Lack of military housing availability
- Poor housing conditions on base
When our research team looked at the reasons provided for choosing to live on base, they were similar, with a few key differences:
- Proximity to base amenities/convenience
- Mandated (required to live on base)
Understanding Lived Experiences in Military Housing
In 2018, MFAN began hearing from our network of advisors about poor conditions and experiences in military housing. A few months later, we fielded a survey to hear directly from military families and provide data that could be used by leaders and decision-makers. The response was overwhelming. In one week, nearly 17,000 families responded to the survey. We learned of issues that included mold and vermin. In some cases, families hesitated to speak up due to fears of retribution.
In the months that followed, many across the nation turned their attention to this issue. Ultimately, the Department of Defense and military housing partners developed the tenant bill of rights to provide transparency and accountability.
Privatized housing reform will take time, and MFAN is committed to continuing our research on this topic and working with key stakeholders to make sure families always have a safe place to call home.