Military Housing: Why More Active Service Members Are Going Off-Base
Most of the time, people serving in the military have their families live in bases far away from battlefields. Many armed forces members get stationed at various bases around the world, often for long periods.
Some may try to maintain a long-distance relationship with their families. But it’s easier for them to all live together at a military base. Life on those bases is a bit different to conventional civilian life. These days, former and serving members and their families opt to live off-base. So, why is that?
Better integration with civilian life
The main selling point is that service members and their families can lead civilian lifestyles. That means they have the freedom to use local stores, recreational facilities and more. When you live on an army, navy or air force base, you have to get used to living a military lifestyle.
Some might not relish the thought of just heading back into civilian life. For those people, there are places where families can stay that are like “halfway houses” in some ways. For example, they might be apartment blocks situated in a civilian-like development.
In fact, there are plenty of those developments on offer. Click here to see some examples of what they are like. To be honest, they aren’t too dissimilar from “ordinary” civilian housing estates. The only difference is that they are tailored for the needs of military personnel and their families.
Better quality of housing
One thing that they don’t tell you on army, navy and air force TV ads is that the quality of housing in their bases is mediocre at best. The government is under increasing pressure to bring existing homes up to code.
Many properties are in need of refurbishment, with some displaying signs of decay and neglect. The sad truth is that military families are not allowed to alter anything in their homes. That even includes painting the walls inside!
However, when you live off base, the standard of housing you get is almost luxurious in comparison! All features you would associate with a modern civilian home are found in these properties. They also have better insulation for the winter and cooling systems for the summer months.
The military is tackling the problem of poor quality base housing. Still, private companies offering military housing are reporting a boom in business! It’s no surprise, really, given the slow progress made by the government and defense groups.
Close proximity to bases
When people choose to live off-base, they opt for housing near their “home” base. Most private properties offered to the military are in close proximity to their bases. That way, they are far enough to lead a civilian life but close enough should service members get recalled for work.
Another advantage is that there is a community of service personnel and families in those private developments. That means they can still talk to people that understand what it’s like leading a military lifestyle. Such communities are close-knit and pretty friendly.