Housing kiosk display in lodging helps new arrivals get started sooner

The television in the lobby of the Baumholder Lagerhoff Inn now provides information on Baumholder Military Housing for residents staying in the military lodging facility. The information includes floor plans, instructions on what to bring to a housing appointment, answers to frequently asked questions and video of actual homes. Photo by Charm Sutton.

The staff of the Baumholder Military Housing Office added one more way for incoming housing residents to get information when they arrive in the Baumholder Military Community.

A “kiosk” of information now plays in the lobby of the Baumholder Lagerhof Inn for newly arrived personnel to see what housing offers.

“The expectation for housing at an overseas location was not met for a lot of our arriving families,” said Charm Sutton, Baumholder Military Housing Customer Service chief. “Most of our families were coming from privatized stateside locations, so when they got here, they were less than enthusiastic.”

Baumholder Military Housing information is listed on numerous sites including the Army Housing Online web site at housing.army.mil, the garrison web site and various other information outlets. But Sutton said even with the vast amount of information available, many newcomers are surprised by the type of housing available upon arrival.

“What we found was that families would get to Baumholder, they would be in the Lagerhof together, they would start in-processing and people would be offered different units,” Sutton said. “They would confer with each other at the hotel and ask each other questions and not have answers.”

Sutton said the kiosk, which is actually looped information on a television screen, is “meant to provide insight to everything in regards to family housing.” That includes what the various policies are for offering housing, what housing is available for accompanied and unaccompanied Soldiers, floor plans and how private (off-post) rentals work.

“The kiosk is yet one more way for our Soldiers and their families to get the most accurate housing information available,” said Harald Kastner, BMC Housing chief.

“No, it’s not going to get you a brand new townhome,” added Sutton. “But, it is it is going to show you what your home could look like, it is going to show you it’s not horrible and you’ll hopefully be able to visualize how the space could work for you.”

Sutton said she believes many people are more inclined to believe the negative aspects of social media when it comes to overseas military housing, especially combined with a first-time move overseas that can bring a lot of unknowns.

“However, oftentimes people are pleasantly surprised that it’s not as bad as they thought,” she said, smiling. “They just don’t go back on social media and say that!”