By Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas - When the Army chooses a Soldier’s next military adventure, one of the first things families consider is where they will live.
There are many things to consider, such as affordability, neighborhoods, crime and even local schools. While weighing those considerations, it may come down to what is more important for your specific needs.
“The first thing that parents are thinking of is, which school they want their student to attend,” said Liz Davenport, a school liaison officer with Fort Hood’s Child and Youth Services. “Parents want to know school climates, ratings and programs that their students could be eligible for once they arrive.”
She said the school liaison office would be a great starting point for parents with school-aged children. Located on the first floor of the Shoemaker Center, Bldg. 36000, the office offers resources and videos explaining education in Texas, as well as welcome videos from the various school districts.
While the liaison office does not recommend specific schools, Davenport said the videos help parents and students discover what kind of programs are available at the various campuses.
She said they can also visit the Texas Education Agency website at https://tea.texas.gov for more specific information about districts and schools.
When Soldiers in-process at Fort Hood’s Housing Services Office, located at the Copeland Center, Bldg. 18010, Room B209, they may have all the information they need to make an informed decision, or may need assistance deciding the best option for their family.
Mark Hjuler, housing services chief, said the housing services office can provide off-post housing counseling and referral assistance. They can also help coordinate with licensed real estate specialists, apartment managers and landlords to inspect housing for adequacy.
The housing office can also provide a list of realtors enrolled in the Rental Partnership Program, a program provided by the Fort Hood Housing Services Office that can help save Soldiers with out-of-pocket expenses, such as savings on security deposits, as well as application, credit check, pet and/or any other administrative fees.
Fort Hood currently has 5,913 homes in 12 villages. Families can visit https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/units-tenants/Garrison-1/DPW/HSO for information about housing, as well as to receive a housing welcome packet.
Jimmy Carter, project manager with Universal Services Fort Hood Inc., said Liberty Village has two-bedroom, one bath single family homes, perfect for young couples with no children or 1 to 2 children.
The neighborhood, located off of Clear Creek Road, across from Central Texas College – Killeen, includes 300 homes, a splash pad, tot lot, sandbox and two parks, along with safety lights and security cameras. All of the homes include newly-installed Reme Halo Air Purification Systems. The homes will soon receive new roofs and double-pane, energy efficient windows.
Some of the activities the housing offers are Easter egg hunts; a back-to-school bash, where students received a backpack full of school supplies; Halloween costume contests with children receiving prizes; Thanksgiving basket give-a-ways, with residents receiving a full Thanksgiving dinner, including the pan to bake the turkey; and a Christmas-decorating contest, among others.
“They can apply online before they even get here,” Carter explained. “If you go to our website (http://www.fthood-libertyvillage.com), there’s a link that says ‘apply here.’ We get a lot of them (applications) like that.”
Families can also visit Liberty Village in person to fill out an application. The office is located at the intersection of Clear Creek Road and Washington Street. Carter said Liberty Village is not strict about the need for orders during the application process, though a copy of the orders, marriage license and a current leave and earnings statement is required before moving in.
When leaving Fort Hood, Liberty Village requires a 30-day notice to vacate the home. Carter said it is up to the tenant if they want to hire the approved cleaning person or clean the home themselves.
“If they use our cleaning lady, we don’t charge them a penny,” he said. “Just show us that you paid her.”
After the home is empty, an inspection is completed to make any repairs, such as loose tiles, paint, etc. Carter said they have a six-page inspection sheet, which is comparable to the inspection sheet used by the Directorate of Public Works for their own inspection.
“They like being off-post and in a single family home,” Carter said about the main draw of Liberty Village. “We also don’t require any money up front and don’t require a pet deposit.”
Fort Hood Family Housing
Fort Hood Family Housing, a Lendlease privatized military housing community manages the bulk of housing on the installation, with 5,613, 2-5 bedroom homes.
“We would encourage service members and families PCSing to Fort Hood to visit our website, https://www.forthoodfh.com, to explore housing options and what all Fort Hood family housing has to offer,” said Chris Albus, project director of FHFH. “Additionally, incoming service members and families are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible to get on the wait list.”
FHFH is in the process of investing $420 billion into its homes at Fort Hood, as well as the demolition and construction of new homes.
The community development program includes renovations of more than 1,300 homes, roof replacements in eight communities, exterior paint in four neighborhoods, repaving some roads and installing accessible curb ramps, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Among its 11 villages, FHFH has several playgrounds, splash parks, basketball courts, biking and walking trails, and a swimming pool, among other things. FHFH offers a variety of activities throughout the year, including drive-thru events and prize give-a-ways.
Albus explained that after the initial application, a leasing agent will contact the family to find out as much information as possible, so residents can be matched to a home that will fit their specific needs. He said after a home is identified, the future resident will receive a seven-year work order history on the home. On move-in day, service members ranked E-1 to E-5 will be accompanied by a community life NCO (noncommissioned officer), who will assist the family during their transition.
When PCSing from Fort Hood, FHFH requires a 30-day written notice to vacate the home, but residents are encouraged to notify them as soon as they receive their PCS orders.
“After a resident finishes their final move-out inspection and PCS’s we have a thorough change of occupancy maintenance process to ensure the home is ready for the next family to move-in,” Albus explained.
The detailed inspection includes repairs, paint, carpet cleaning and more. After completion, the home is then inspected by DPW before they are able to lease it to a new family.
“Lastly, we always hate to see our residents go as they truly become a part of the Fort Hood Family Housing family when they live with us,” Albus said, “but if they are PCSing to another Lendlease community, we encourage them to take advantage of our $250 loyalty coupon found here (https://winnmilitary.entrata.com/media_library/12710/61d5c4f0ed462383.pdf).”