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Upscale Military Housing Offers Incentive to Serve

Posted August 28, 2007
Updated August 29, 2007

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— Fort Bragg is getting a makeover. Renovations to base housing aim to create an upscale community with resort-style living as an extra incentive for soldiers to serve during a time of war and extended deployments.

Fort Bragg plans to tear down 1,600 homes and renovate another 2,000 houses, most of which were built in the 1950s.

Replacing them are modern, 2,000-square-foot homes with attached garages on landscaped streets lined with sidewalks.

"I could be in suburbia America anywhere," Jenny Mayo, the wife of an Army soldier, said of her new home and street.

Resort-style community centers are also being built in many on-post neighborhoods. Those centers feature stadium seating and workout areas with adjoining children's rooms.

Military officials said the renovated homes increase the quality of life for soldiers and their families and are affordable, particularly for younger recruits.

"When you live in a home that that's beautiful for the little amount they're paying for it, you'd be hard-pressed to match that on the outside," said Gary Knight, Bragg deputy garrison commander.

The cost of the improved housing is covered by soldiers' basic housing allowance. Picerne Military Housing, a private contractor doing the renovations, also provides maintenance for the properties.

Melissa Frederick said the nicer housing helps relieve part of the domestic stress often felt by military families, such as hers.

"The reason I know a lot of soldiers get out is because they're unhappy with the housing. Either the housing is too small, their wives are unhappy, or just the general environment," she said. "They're not happy with being in the military.

"Having a good home and having a happy family at home makes you want to stay longer," Frederick continued.

Mayo said simply having more living space makes her feel more at home and helps her worry less about her husband's future deployments.

"In the old house, it was like, just everywhere, every corner of the house, there was some Army bag, something reminding us he's going to leave soon," she said.

Kurt Ehlers, with Picerne Military Housing, said he's glad to provide this service to U.S. servicemen and women.

"You can't ask for a more deserving customer with what the military families are enduring and sacrificing right now," Ehlers said.

22 Comments

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  • spazman Aug 30, 2007

    Im not dieing for a nice house

  • bronzegoddess40 Aug 29, 2007

    I am so happy about the renovations, I grew up on Ft. Bragg and then ended up back then again after I got married. This is great, time for some new houses and things around there. AIRBORNE!!

  • the alliance Aug 29, 2007

    this is great for our soldiers. though I used to walk by those 1950 home jobbers back in 80-81. I'll miss them. the Army forts landscape seems to forever drastically change. I came back to Fort Bragg after 20 years away, and had to relearn the post all over again. PX moved across yonder.

  • aquamama Aug 29, 2007

    Man, I remember some dumps we lived in in Germany. We ended up living on the economy eventually. The stuff on post was horrid, unless you like drippy ceilings and stairwells that smell like fish and cabbage. When we ended up at Ft. Bragg, there was no housing available on post. Glad these families are getting some nice digs. I agree that different colors would be nice, though. The community centers are a big deal, too. The DYA used to give us plenty to do when we were bored.

  • haggis basher Aug 29, 2007

    This is housing they should always have had. Pity it takes a war to get it. I suppose its market forces. Supply and demand.

  • NCMOMof3 Aug 29, 2007

    Raptor, maybe you should serve and leave your family behind in substandard housing. Then you would realize how important the housing issue can be for the service member that is spending extended amounts of time overseas defending your rights. A decent house for your family is little to ask for all that the service member and their family sacrifice for our freedoms and the freedoms of others in sometimes ungrateful places overseas. And while I'm on that soapbox, the benefits should extend to those of us whose spouses are no longer able to serve due to being injured while serving. Sometimes we're forgotten, also. I think the new housing is a great idea. What a way to spend some of MY tax payer dollars instead of funding things for people that are here illegally or for people that can work but choose not too. ok, I'm done preaching now,,sorry!

  • Yelena Aug 29, 2007

    I do have one more sugestion... paint them different colors. Vary the floor plans a little. They may be great on the inside, but they look identical on the outside. Create some character.

  • beachgal Aug 29, 2007

    Finally! After all they do for us! We owe them that and much more!

  • tmedlin Aug 29, 2007

    NeverSurrender - well said!

  • CherryDarling Aug 29, 2007

    Fayettte-nam will never get it together. That is the WORST looking (and feeling) military town on the east coast.

    and, yeah - having a nice house will make up for having a husband, wife, mother, father, etc... deployed for a ridiculous amount of time...

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