Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Housing Services staff help Soldiers with off post housing needs

By Tim Morgan | HOUSING SERVICES OFFICE | October 06, 2017

     Staff at the Fort Riley Hous­ing Services Office work every day to help Soldiers get the best price possible for off post hous­ing. The mission of the HSO is to serve Soldiers in obtaining adequate, affordable housing that meets identified safety and health standards. Although there is a good inventory of great housing on post offered by Corvias, it is at times not available in the Sol­dier’s required timeframe. This situation is when the HSO can greatly assist because of their part­nerships established within the surrounding communities.

     The HSO operates in an es­tablished area identified by the Department of Defense as the KS 100. It runs in Kansas from west of Topeka to east of Salina, south to Council Grove and North to Clay Center. It encompasses the larger Manhattan and Junction City areas, too. Within the op­erational boundaries, the HSO has established over 100 partner­ships with real estate agencies and agents, property management companies, individual landlords, hotels, local businesses and cham­bers of commerce. The purpose of these partnerships is to ensure quality housing for Soldiers at the best price.

     There are several partners in the area who offer special dis­counts for military members and their families that include ei­ther reduced rent, lower security deposits or waived application fees. There is even a partner in Manhattan who has completely eliminated security deposits and application fees for Soldiers and their dependents.

    The elimination of security deposits and application fees is a program the HSO is currently working toward implementing with more community partners. As the housing situation evolves off post, many partners are seeing the advantage of implementing these savings for Soldiers. Hous­ing referral specialists have estab­lished deals such as $99 move in specials and security deposits as low as 15 percent of the monthly rent. These factors assist the chain of command in maintaining Sol­diers’ financial readiness by help­ing them obtain the best deal pos­sible for housing. The individual housing counseling provided by the HSO team helps save Soldiers money and allows them to focus on their mission.

     If a Soldier is in a bad housing situation, it is not too late to use the HSO’s services. One major tool available to leadership is the HSO’s mediation services. Due to the foundation of partnerships built in the local area, often times the HSO can help solve off post housing issues through effective communication with the land­lord of property manager. If a leader identifies a Soldier with a lease or housing problem, simply contact the HSO and the team can either come to the unit area to meet with the Soldier, lead­ers and others or the Soldier can come to the HSO office. Togeth­er, the team will work with the Soldier, chain of command and the off post partner to establish a suitable course of action that will help solve the problem and im­prove the health of the organiza­tion. The HSO is here to enhance overall readiness by assisting Sol­diers in their housing needs.

    The Fort Riley HSO provides many other services for the Sol­diers. Some of these include rides for Soldiers for any housing re­lated appointment, home buying and selling assistance, counseling, rental listings on homes.mil, assis­tance with permissive temporary duty assignment and many other housing related services.

     The community partner­ships established by the HSO are a key component in ensuring the best quality housing for Soldiers at a great price. It is imperative service member’s visit the HSO office prior to entering into any lease, contract or rental agree­ment to ensure their best inter­ests are protected. The HSO is located in building 215, room 139 and can be contacted at 785-239-3525.