It’s been 20 years since an act of Congress led to the privatization of military housing and the birth of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI). Since 1996, much of the military housing stock has been modernized through the construction of new units and the renovation of older ones. Military installations across the country have individual needs and demographics that will dictate the scope of development, and the nature of the housing often depends on geographic location.
In this March issue of MHN Digital Magazine, Contributing Editor Jeffrey Steele talks to several leading military housing developers about the market today and the strides they have made in the last 20 years (“Celebrating Two Decades of MHPI” ). “Whether we’re building houses or apartments, the one thing all residents have in common is that they’re looking for modern, energy-efficient homes,” according to Amanda Filipowski at Corvias Military Living, a private sector partner participating in MHPI. With similar objectives in mind, Lincoln Military Housing has undertaken a significant water conservation initiative, which is complemented by the fact that Lincoln builds all of its military housing community centers and residential common areas to LEED Silver certification.
This month we also delve into a related topic that has been at the forefront for quite some time: veteran homelessness. Associate Editor Samantha Goldberg’s special report (“Homeless No More”) looks at funding strategies as well as new thinking about how we manage expectations for dealing with the crisis. Aside from conventional housing models, new ideas are emerging. For example, Veterans Housing Development (VHD), a Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based nonprofit, is exploring the usage of shipping containers as a low-cost building module for veterans housing. “Using shipping containers is actually cheaper than buying mobile homes and sturdier, and also more green,” said Brad Jordan, executive director of VHD and president of Accord Architects & Engineers in Myrtle Beach. Veteran homelessness is part of the larger affordable housing crisis.
What solutions are you hearing from thought leaders in the regions where you do business? Let us know, and we’ll share them in an upcoming issue.