Anglo Housing lease renewed
By Tech. Sgt. J. LaVoie, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 03, 2008
RAF LAKENHEATH, England -- On-going changes to the government housing for both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall have left some families with questions. 48th Civil Engineer Squadron leadership is encouraging people to ask those questions.
"We are more than willing to sit down and talk to people," said Nancy Shigenaga, 48 CES Housing Manager. "People need to talk to a counselor for information. If the counselor can't answer the question, or the answer they give does not sound or feel right ask to speak with a supervisor."
This sentiment was echoed at the highest levels.
"We are more than happy to elevate those things to address a concern. We are a customer service based organization," said Lt. Col. Pat Baker, 48th CES commander. "There are good reasons why we do the things we do. Some times circumstances force us to do things that will inconvenience people. I have no problem explaining to someone why they need to move, because we don't make the decisions on a whim. Folks need to exercise their right to understand."
"Additionally, if there are special circumstances we need to be aware of, people need to tell us and we will try to work with them," he added.
48th CES leadership is aware that each housing area has special needs and concerns, and took the time to address each.
Early this year a Town Hall Meeting was conducted to brief residents on lease negotiations.
"We are happy to announce that lease was reviewed and approved by Congress," stated Lt Col Baker. "The new 5 year lease retains 570 three and four bedroom junior and senior NCO houses in a highly desirable location."
This lease extension allows for more houses.
"Lease approval also allows us to reintroduce more than 100 houses to the inventory," said Nancy Shigenaga. "We have had to bank empty houses, not only in the Anglo housing area, but in the other areas, just in case the lease wasn't renewed. Starting September 2, we will fill these houses based upon residents order on the waiting list."
Liberty Village is a five phase construction project of 606 new houses that is currently ahead of schedule. Already, 110 new homes have been turned over to RAF Lakenheath.
According to the housing office there has been some concern that phase 5 is unfunded.
"It is in the president's budget. We fully expect to see the full funding," said Colonel Baker. "The money we have programmed into that project is going to come to us."
In fact $72 million is slotted for phase 5
Ms. Shigenaga added that everyone is very pleased with Liberty Housing, and because of that, there is currently an 18 to 24 month wait to move into Liberty Village, depending on the size of the house.
The East Anglian Housing Office, servicing both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall customers, allows those customers to elect certain housing areas in order to better meet their families' needs.
"When people come in and make their housing elections, they can certainly elect to go on the Liberty Village Housing list, however we have other available houses now," said Col Baker. "We certainly understand that people want to live right next to the installation, but we want people to know they can affect their own ability to move into a government house by changing the areas they've elected."
In some cases, people artificially limit themselves to two or three of the 15 housing areas in the local community. Additionally, people must also be aware that families who are being forced out of houses being bulldozed will be moved into new Liberty Village houses. This allows families who have already set routines in the community to move with the least disruption.
"When people have questions, the right person is to call is their housing counselor, who can explain all of this and how they affect their ability to move into housing," said Ms. Shigenaga.
In Newmarket there are two housing leases, Studlands Park and Soham, that the landlord chose not to renew. The lease expires 31 December on 371 homes. There about 22 families still living in these houses.
"As you get to the end of any contractual relationship it gets difficult," said Colonel Baker. "If they are not getting the maintenance they need, we need to know about it. We are very concerned about the quality of living in those houses. I think some times the families assume we know, and we don't. If they have issues, help us help them."
For more information or to address concerns on any of these housing areas, call the housing office at DSN 226-2000