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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum officials announce interim referral service as DOD transitions away from housing website


Steve Ghiringhelli

Staff Writer

Fort Drum’s top housing official said his office is preparing for the Dec. 31 expiration of a contract involving the DOD-sponsored Automated Housing Referral Network website (www.ahrn.com).
Soldiers and Family Members searching for Army-approved housing off post should consider one of two options while DOD spends the next six months or so replacing AHRN with a dot-mil website.
wVisit or call the Army Community Housing office in Clark Hall at 772-6883.
wGo to www.drum.army.mil homepage and click the housing tab for information that, by late January, will include Fort Drum’s own housing referral system.
“That’s basically our interim solution,” said Bill Bamann, Fort Drum’s Housing Division chief.
He said Soldiers and Families also may visit www.housing.army. mil.
Bamann explained that he and his staff take the issue of housing off-duty members of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) very seriously, because it is an area that affects both individual well-being and the readiness of the force.
“Assisting Soldiers and their Families in renting adequate, safe housing in the market is an absolutely critical service,” he said.
By Jan. 1, Bamann’s staff will manually generate a referral list of approved housing in the Fort Drum area using existing databases and adding new rentals as other properties are inspected and cleared.
Inspections focus on safety and habitability.
The paper-based solution will transfer to Fort Drum’s website once a new housing referral section goes live at www.drum.army. mil later in January.
Bamann, whose staff will absorb the additional administrative work, said landlords wishing to be added to the updated referral list should call 772-7319.
The permanent DODwide housing referral network is expected to be ready by summer.
Most users at AHRN, which was launched 10 years ago and will continue to operate without its DOD affiliation, were “mom and pop” type of operations, Bamann said, with landlords carving up Victorian homes into four apartments and renting each one.
Approximately 7,000 Soldiers live in Fort Drum’s off-post market with their Families, Bamann said. Up to 2,000 of those Soldiers transition in and out of the area each year.
He said the good news is that plenty of housing exists on the market right now.
“It’s not a real crunch, where people have a hard time finding places to rent, like we had five or six years ago,” he said.





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