Marine Corps Base Quantico is revamping its housing referral program to simplify the house-hunting process for military personnel.
The Quantico Family Housing Branch is developing an off-base referral website that it hopes will help alleviate some of the stress of searching for housing for service members and their families moving to the base.
The new site will allow service members to list their needs, and property managers or real estate agents can review their listings and be put in contact with the service member if they have the right fit. This way, the housing branch will serve as a bridge between real estate agents and service members.
Ana Jozsa, the off-base referral housing management assistant at Quantico, said the program previously was much less interactive.
“We would provide listings of apartments to service members when they would come on base and if they couldn’t get base housing we would help them out in town,” Jozsa said. “But it was limited; we really didn’t have much contact with a lot of the real estate agencies and companies…so a lot of our focus right now is to really establish personal relationships with both apartment complexes and property owners in the area.”
Once service members receive their orders and begin looking for housing, they can send their requests to the housing branch, under the “Housing Wanted” section of the family housing page when the program is launched. The new service will provide more individualized results that align with the service member and their family’s needs, such as desired commute and preferred school district.
“There’s a focus on affordability just because of how crazy the housing market has gotten recently because of COVID-19, the skyrocketing prices, increased demand and shortage of housing being built,” Jozsa said.
Finding adequate housing can be competitive and overwhelming, and the housing branch’s goal is to simplify the influx of information so service members can make informed decisions about prospective housing.
“Quantico is really in the middle of so many different counties, and it can be very daunting, especially for somebody coming in who has never lived in the area and is totally unfamiliar,” Jozsa said. “There are so many little nuances and things they really need to know like traffic, pricing and schools. There’s so much information out there, so we’re sort of serving as a place where all that information is consolidated so that we can then help guide them to find the specific housing situation they need.”
The program is expected to be online by the summer, but a soft roll-out of some of the resources will be available on the current Quantico family housing website earlier in the year.