New SNCO housing opens on Kapaun

Airman 1st Class Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***New townhouses were recently finished on Kapaun and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday to celebrate the step in improving quality of life for enlisted members.

The idea for the new housing came in 2002 after the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed all military family housing be repaired or replaced by 2010.
Although only 16 townhouses are currently complete, the total senior NCO housing project calls for 863 townhomes to be completed by 2009. The estimated cost of the project is $399 million.

“This is another indicator of the Air Force’s strong commitment to provide our world-class enlisted corps with the finest housing possible,” said 435th Air Base Wing commander Col. Kurt Lohide, who is hosting the ceremony located at the model homes at 2748 North Dakota Street.

The homes are built in units consisting of two, three or four townhomes side-by-side. Each home contains a surplus of features not found anywhere else on base. The most notable features are heated ceramic tile floors, upgraded cabinetry, electronic rolladens, 220 and 110 outlets, ceiling fans, covered patios, exterior and interior storage, motion detector lights and a one-car garage.

“It was a tremendous step to shift to townhouses,” said Karen Largent, chief of KMC housing flight. “It gives (the senior NCOs) the similar community feeling that is off base.”

The new townhomes will be sought after by many, but not everyone is eligible to move there or even get on the waiting list.

Senior NCOs who are being forced to move due to building renovations will have priority for the new houses. Also, senior NCOs with large families who require four bedrooms will move to the top of the list.

Everyone else, such as families PCSing in, NCOs being promoted to senior NCOs and senior NCOs currently living in housing or off base, will all have to join the waiting list.

The model homes are open to the public during the ceremony and the first two keys to the new housing will be given out. The public may also view the homes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 and noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 20.

“As the Air Force continues to transform, we remain committed to our most precious resource – the men and women who serve,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dale Buckholtz, 435th ABW command chief. “The housing provides a level a prestige commensurate with the responsibility and hard work we ask of our senior NCO tier.”