Fort McCoy News Jan. 12, 2018

DPW Housing Division offers customers

variety of services, support

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

In January 2014, the Directorate of Public Works Housing Division offices moved to the South Post Housing area.

At that time, the housing area had 57 homes, and many changes were planned. Now, South Post Housing has doubled in size, and new personnel are part of the Housing Division.

"We have a unique housing community," said Housing Manager Zach Hynes, who started in his position in December 2016. "All of our Families here live in single-Family homes with large, spacious yards. It's a very nice community."

Some of the 56 new homes in the South Post Housing area are shown Dec. 1 at Fort McCoy. The Directorate of Public Works Housing Division supports Families in 113 homes overall in the housing area.
Some of the 56 new homes in the South Post Housing area are shown
Dec. 1 at Fort McCoy. The Directorate of Public Works Housing Division
supports Families in 113 homes overall in the housing area.

In summer 2017, 56 new ranch-style homes were accepted and opened, bringing the total to 113 homes available at the housing area. During an official ceremony accepting the new homes in August, DPW Director Liane Haun said the addition of the new homes shows the Army's commitment to improve quality of life at the installation.

"To me, this demonstrates the Army's commitment to Army Families by providing them with quality housing," Haun said.

The 2014 move also included reopening the renovated South Post Community Center, building 6158, which is now home to Housing Division offices. And adjacent to the community center is the housing warehouse — building 6167 — that includes a Self-Help Center for housing residents.

DPW Chief of Housing Ross O'Neil said having the Housing Division staff co-located with their customers on South Post was a great move, and the new housing has made the area much busier. "Having the community center here, the housing office located here, and everything else in one place along with the new homes is an effort that we worked on for many years," he said.

Working at the Housing Division offices in building 6158 are O'Neil, Hynes, Housing Referral Specialist Bob LaRock, and Housing Assistant Brenda Downing. Housing Maintenance Inspector Walt Sanders works in building 6167.

The South Post Community Center is a popular venue, Hynes said. It was built in 1931 and had previously served as an instructors building and the garrison commander's home.

"We probably average about seven events at the center each month," Hynes said. "We have regular Girl Scout meetings, the USO hosts events regularly, our South Post Housing Community Association meets here on the third Tuesday every month, and there's also birthday parties and other events that take place."

The inside of the center features an open-design concept with a conference and meeting area, a fully upgraded kitchen, two bathrooms, and a sitting area with new furniture that includes a 64-inch flat screen television. The center's front sunroom can be used during warmer weather. To schedule events at the center, residents just need to contact the DPW Housing Division.

The Self-Help Center section of the warehouse is heated and open year-round for residents, Hynes said. The rest of the warehouse is cold storage for spare appliances and other items required for maintenance on Family housing units. "The Self-help Center is open from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for our housing residents to get items they need," he said.

When the new housing was added, Hynes said other improvements were included throughout the housing area as well.

"We have a paved, 2-mile walking path that goes around the entire housing area," Hynes said. "This path is open year-round as we keep it cleared of snow in the winter. We also have five large playgrounds located throughout the housing areas for Families to use. They are all located in easy-to-access areas."

Overall, the DPW Housing Division provides a wide range of housing-related services for the Fort McCoy community. First and foremost, they help Soldiers and their Families find housing on post or get them on the housing waiting list. If housing is not available or Families prefer to live off post, then the staff will assist them in finding quality, affordable residential rentals outside of Fort McCoy.

Every incoming Soldier and their Family receives an in-briefing that covers housing entitlements and services, Hynes said.
Housing staff will also brief Soldiers, Families, and civilians on areas covering subjects such 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 military Families interested in buying a home, the housing staff also maintains basic referral information for what is available in the local housing market area.

The Housing Division also partners with the Army Community Service Relocation Program to offer prospective clients the best and most-current information available for completing a move to Fort McCoy.

The DPW Housing Division offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call 608-388-3704 or 608-388-3906 for housing questions, to schedule events or reserve the South Post Community Center, or for support with the Self-Help Center and warehouse. People can also email the staff at usarmy.mccoy.imcom-central.list.dpw-housing@mail.mil.