Navy Lodge at Naples is offered apartments to help ease congestion
October 19, 2006
NAPLES, Italy — The housing office at Naval Support Activity Naples has offered to hand over two dozen apartments to the Navy Lodge in a proposal that would help alleviate some of the hotel’s congestion, officials said.
The Navy Exchange Command, which runs the Navy Lodges, currently is reviewing the proposal. If adopted, travelers would have the option of staying in apartment-style suites by early 2007, said Michael Bockelman, director of the Navy Lodge Program.
“It is a great opportunity for Navy families in Naples, and will give them other opportunities to stay in a suite. It is a win-win for all of us,” he said in an e-mail.
Two apartment buildings on the support site base at Gricignano, each with 12, two-bedroom apartments, would be furnished and offered as suites to travelers.
While they would be available to anyone who qualifies to stay in Navy lodging, ideally the suites would go to large families who likely would be more comfortable all together in an apartment, instead of in separate rooms in the hotel, said Linda Crusing, the base housing director.
“We made the proposal partly because of our low occupancy rate, and partly because there is a need [for more rooms] at the Navy Lodge, especially during PCS season, when they are so booked,” Crusing said.
In the Navy, the summer months, followed by December, mark the heaviest times in which sailors and their families transfer, or effect a permanent change of station move.
“If we have something that can help them out, and if we can do so legally, why not?” Crusing said.
The base housing’s occupancy rate currently hovers around 78 percent, far lower than the Navy’s required 95 percent occupancy level.
If it falls below the threshold, the Navy’s housing policy mandates E-1 to E-5 sailors with families to live in on-base housing if it’s available. Those include two-, three-, or four-bedroom apartments.
In Naples, command policy prohibits dogs and no more than two cats in base housing.
“The numbers are showing that less and less junior sailors are coming here,” Crusing said. “We have to find something to do with the apartments. I mean, you can’t make a commander move into junior enlisted housing, so we are coming up with other solutions.”
Though officers and enlisted sailors E-6 and above are not required to live on base, most do, and the base housing occupancy rate for those is around 98 percent.
In another effort to fill vacant apartments, in the fall of 2005, the command began paying moving costs for sailors with families who wanted to move from the economy. Earlier this year, it opened enlisted apartments to civilians and contractors with families.