Sunday, November 25, 2007

Travis Air Force Base to privatize housing

Travis to privatize housing

Article Launched: 11/02/2007 06:36:27 AM PDT

The Department of the Air Force has selected GMH Military Housing, as the highest ranked offeror for the privatization of family housing at Travis Air Force Base.

The move is part of the Air Force Air Mobility Command's West Housing Privatization Project.

In addition to Travis, the project includes privatizing housing at two other Air Force bases - Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane and Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City.

"This is going to be a new and wonderful world for our airmen," said Col. GI Tuck, 60th Air Mobility Wing acting commander. "The improved quality of life being offered by this privatization effort is a fantastic step to provide world-class quality housing for our military families. We look forward to working with GMH Military Housing."

Having been chosen as the highest ranked offeror means GMH can now negotiate with the Air Force on the particulars of its responsibilities, which include development, management, construction and renovation activities at the three bases.

The work is all part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative which was authorized by Congress 11 years ago. The aim is for the military to improve the condition, availability and operation of base housing in a cost-effective manner by working with the private sector.

Deal would privatize Travis housing

By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | November 01, 2007 18:04

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE - GMH Communities Trust, a Pennsylvania-based developer, is entering exclusive negotiations with the Air Force to build and manage on-base housing on Travis Air Force Base, according to a GMH press release this week.

The project, if GMH and the Air Force reach an agreement, also includes the construction and management of housing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.

The entire project is valued at an estimated $400 million and will cover construction and management of 2,435 housing units at all three Air Mobility Command bases, according to the release.

The Department of Defense has been working to privatize on-base housing since 1996. This is housing that is built and/or managed by a private developer on land leased from the military.

'This is going to be a new and wonderful world for our airmen,' said 60th Air Mobility Wing commander Col. G.I. Tuck said in a Travis press release. 'The improved quality of life being offered by this privatization effort is a fantastic step to provide world-class quality housing for our military families.'

Travis officials expect a contract to be awarded some time in March, according to Travis' Public Affairs Office.

The Travis portion of the plan calls for building 358 homes, primarily in the northwest portion of the base where demolition crews have been knocking down the last of Travis' oldest homes.

These homes were built in the 1950s and are now considered substandard by the Air Force.

Under the privatization plan, the contractor would be responsible for all of Travis' 1,134 houses on land leased from the Air Force for 50 years. The contractor will also be required to periodically renovate and remodel them.

The Air Force still encourages as much of the base's personnel as possible to live off base. As of August, about 72 percent of Travis' military members lived off base.

GMH has been heavily involved in the past with the Army on housing projects on more than a dozen bases across the country and presently operates 11 privatized housing projects, its release stated.

Based in Newtown Square, Penn., GMH employs more than 2,300 people and has also built off-campus housing for university and college students.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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