The Ins and Outs of PCS Moves into Military Housing: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're a military service member or a military family, you're likely no stranger to the challenges of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves. Moving to a new duty station can be both exciting and overwhelming, and one of the key aspects of a successful PCS move is finding suitable military housing. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of PCS moves into military housing to help you navigate this process with ease.

What is PCS?

First, let's clarify what PCS means. PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station, which refers to the relocation of military personnel and their families to a new duty station. PCS moves can occur within the same country or internationally, and they typically involve a change in duty station due to assignments, promotions, or other military-related reasons.

Types of Military Housing

Military housing options can vary depending on the location, rank, and availability. Here are some common types of military housing:

  1. On-Base Housing: Also known as government-owned housing, this is housing provided by the military on a military installation. On-base housing can include single-family homes, townhomes, or apartments, and is managed by the installation's housing office.
  2. "MHPI"/Off-Base Housing: Also referred to as privatized military housing or Public-Private Venture (PPV) housing, this is housing managed by private companies in partnership with the military. 99% of military housing is now a part of this privatized venture, or "Military Housing Privatization Initiative." MHPI housing can be located in close proximity to the military installation, or on the installation, and can include a variety of housing options, ranging from single-family homes to apartments.
  3. DoD Housing Allowance (BAH): If on-base or off-base housing is not available or suitable, service members may be eligible for a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), which is a monthly stipend provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to cover housing expenses. Service members can use the BAH to rent or purchase a home in the civilian community.

PCS Moves into Military Housing: Step-by-Step Guide

PCS moves into military housing involve several steps, and being well-prepared can make the process smoother. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Research and Planning

Before your PCS move, it's essential to research the housing options available at your new duty station. Check the housing office website or contact them directly to gather information about on-base or off-base housing, waitlists, application procedures, and eligibility requirements. If considering off-base housing, research the privatized housing companies in the area and their reputation.

Step 2: Apply for Military Housing

Once you have identified your preferred housing option, submit your application as early as possible to increase your chances of securing a spot. Follow the application procedures provided by the housing office or the privatized housing company, and provide all required documents, such as orders, identification, and any other requested information.

Step 3: Attend Housing Briefings

Many military installations require service members and their families to attend housing briefings to familiarize themselves with the housing policies, procedures, and rules. These briefings provide important information on topics such as move-in and move-out procedures, maintenance requests, and community amenities.

Step 4: Prepare for Your Move

As with any PCS move, be sure to plan and prepare for your move into military housing. Make a packing and moving timeline, arrange for transportation, and coordinate with your current and new housing offices or privatized housing company for move-in dates, keys, and other details. Be aware of any specific rules or regulations related to military housing, such as pet policies or smoking restrictions.

Step 5: Conduct Move-In Inspection

Upon arrival at your new duty station, conduct a thorough move-in inspection of your military housing. Document any existing damages or issues. Click on our "Lease Checklist" for help!

Need more resources? Check out PCS Like A Pro!

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