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Moving Day: A closer look at MacDill's award-winning family housing

by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor
Photos by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman

Marine Cpl. Sarah Murray takes a look around her new neighborhood April 1 with Carolyn Williams, from the Base Housing office. All branches of service are allowed in base housing as long as the tenant unit signs the support agreement.

The carport underneath the stilted units has a graveled area that is a perfect spot for playtime.

Mrs. Williams shows Corporal Murray the location of her mailbox. To save the mail carrier some footwork, several neighborhoods on base use a centrally located mailbox rather than individual boxes at each unit.

After the paperwork, she can officially move in.

It just so happens that Corporal Murray's neighbor is in the Marines as well. So this welcome mat on the stairs outside made her feel right at home.

After being shut down for nearly two years, MacDill's family housing list is accepting applications for personnel assigned here in any branch of service.

Marine Cpl. Sarah Murray, assigned to U.S. Central Command, moved into her three-bedroom unit April 1 and was excited to be in the new, stilt housing just south of the Base Hospital.

The three-story unit houses two families and comes with all major appliances. In addition to the carport on the ground level, there is a large storage space for each family. The electronic thermostat keeps the temperatures inside comfortable, and tile floors in high traffic areas make for easy cleanup.

"The housing where I was stationed before was very old," she said. "This is so much nicer than I expected from on-base housing."

Right now there are more than 300 units occupied and nearly 100 under construction, said Milissa Laven, Base Housing director. She added that eventually there will be 488 units available on base to house all ranks from junior enlisted all the way to generals.

"One thing I want to stress is that we need good contact information for people who sign up," said Mrs. Laven. "That is the only way we have to notify people on the list when a house becomes available."

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