Finding off-base housing is expected to be easier and cheaper for Fort Gordon’s soldiers with a Rental Partnership Program started Thursday.
The deal was signed by Garrison Commander Col. James Clifford and ATC Development vice president of operations Shelly Martin at Helena Springs Apartments off Wrightsboro Road on Thursday. Clifford said these programs have worked well at other military bases, and this apartment complex marks the first step in Fort Gordon’s.
“We have an on-post component, we’re also pursuing off-post components, and this is really the first step in that agreement,” he said. “This is gonna be a great relationship that we’re gonna build here. What this allows our service members to do is to have a relationship with this particular community, to be able to save money as they come in and are able to waive certain fees.”
Garrison Housing Division Chief Mary Scott said these fees include those for deposits , applications and credit checks. The deal will ensure that a soldier’s rent will never cost more than his or her Basic Allowance for Housing. Scott believes this direct relationship will make the process of service members finding off-base housing much simpler.
“Typically a soldier gets assigned to Fort Gordon, he leaves his last apartment at his last duty station, he has 10 days of temporary housing allowance…five days there, and five days here,” she said. “Often times, it takes much longer than five days to find a place to live, and then he puts in an application fee at each [potential housing] location, not knowing whether or not your application is going to be accepted. If you have to put in three applications, that’s three credit check fees, and that’s upward of $300.”
Scott said this program will hopefully put a soldier into an apartment in two to three days. This will also help Fort Gordon accommodate the growing number of incoming service members. Clifford said the base currently offers 1,080 residential housing units.
Helena Springs currently has 282 apartments, with plans to add an additional 105 units in the coming months. The apartment complex is about a six minute drive from Fort Gordon.
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