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October 26, 2012

News

Rental, housing services referrals available through McCoy office, online

Rental and housing referrals for members of the Fort McCoy community are supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) Housing Services Office program, the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Housing Division and several websites.
IMAGE: Housing Services Office

Sherry Oslie, Housing Management Specialist for the Fort McCoy Housing Office, said the main function of the installation Housing Services Office is to assist Soldiers and their Family members in finding quality, affordable residential rentals outside the gates of Fort McCoy.

Every incoming Soldier receives an in-briefing that covers housing entitlements and services, Oslie said. The Housing staff briefs Soldiers, Families and civilians covering such subjects as renter’s insurance and the military clause, which allows them to end leases or rental agreements if they receive orders to deploy or to move, for example.

Using the DoD website (www.ahrn.com) or Automated Housing Referral Network, which is available to military and civilian personnel throughout the DoD, is emphasized.

Oslie said the AHRN website benefits both landlords and tenants/renters. Landlords can list properties free of charge on the site. In-depth descriptions of properties and up to 10 photos can be posted to the site as well.

Potential tenants can access the site from anywhere in the world, Oslie said. The office was helping a Soldier moving from Italy to Fort McCoy, and he could access potential rental site listings from overseas.

Walt Sanders, Housing inspector, performs onsite inspections of as many rental properties as possible and annotates inspections on the website listing. Unacceptable listings will be removed from the site if they don’t meet standards.

Katie Schindler, Housing assistant, said using the AHRN site is excellent because users can customize their search to sort through the available housing by price, city, zip codes, number of bedrooms, etc.

“I still recommend that Soldiers and Families inspect a rental property in person before they enter into a rental agreement, she said.

Soldiers and Families also need to know that Fort McCoy has a waiting list for on-post housing and it sometimes takes longer to find three- and four-bedroom homes in the area. The Housing Services Office will assist Soldiers and Families in finding temporary Family housing while they are searching for a rental.

For personnel who are interested in buying a home, the Housing Services Office also has basic referral information for what is available in the housing market area.

The Housing Management Office partners with the Army Community Service Relocation Program to offer prospective clients the best and most-updated information available about completing a move to Fort McCoy.

The Housing Services Office also compiles data for the annual Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) survey including the cost of renting housing and utilities in the area. The housing data is used as an input to help determine BAH rates in the Fort McCoy area. This helps eligible personnel get the maximum amount they are entitled to and to afford the best-quality housing possible in the area.

For more information about housing referral in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-3704.

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