Europe bases first to be added to military housing referral site
April 28, 2008
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The military is looking to expand its popular housing referral Web site overseas, beginning with bases in Europe.
A team with the Automated Housing Referral Network is coming to Kaiserslautern later next month to look at how they can add the area homes to its list of housing properties, said Karen Leonard, the Kaiserslautern military community housing director. It will be part of a pilot program to see how it will work for overseas installations.
“It’s still in the planning stages,” Leonard said.
The Defense Department-sponsored Web site helps servicemembers and civilian employees find places faster and easier. The site lists off-base rentals, on-base housing, shared rentals, temporary lodging and homes for sale by military members. Think of it as a sort of Craigslist for military folks looking for housing at their next base.
Registered site users can access home descriptions, pictures and maps. Servicemembers can advertise homes they want to sell or rent for free, according to an Air Force press release. The site’s search function also allows users to look for homes that that are within their basic housing allowance.
The Automated Housing Referral Network began as a pilot project in 2004 and has gradually spread to more bases. The site lists homes at 158 installations and has 180,000 registered users. In March, the site had more than 26,000 property listings, the release said.
While the Web site will slash the number of trips house hunters will have to make to the Housing Office, it will not eliminate the need for housing staff members, Leonard said. The office will continue to inspect homes to make sure they meet standards and give appraisals.
It has not been determined when the Kaiserslautern community, which includes Ramstein Air Base, will go online, Leonard said.
“We’re in the very, very preliminary stages,” she said.
Access the Automated Housing Referral Network at www.ahrn.com