Hoeven, Heitkamp Announce Projects to Improve Housing Options & Build Community Centers at Grand Forks and Minot Air Force Bases, and Cavalier Air Force Station

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp today announced that the Grand Forks Air Force Base, Minot Air Force Base, and Cavalier Air Force Station will participate in a new initiative offering improved, affordable housing and new community centers at some locations for military families. Hoeven and Heitkamp pushed for this project to support the hardworking servicemembers at the Air Force Bases and Station, which will bring construction jobs to the local economy, and ensure quality housing for years to come.

The Bases and Station will participate in the Air Force’s Military Housing Privatization Initiative project, a Defense Department project which shifts the operations and maintenance responsibility of family housing from the military to a private company with expertise in building and managing housing. The initiative aims to prevent the military from bearing the cost of housing upgrades for servicemembers, enabling it to instead focus on its mission.

Hoeven, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, said: “The purpose of the initiative is to provide military families, who sacrifice so much for us, access to quality, affordable, well-maintained housing on the base so that service members can focus on the important mission they’ve undertaken to defend our nation. We have insisted that the plan improve the quality of life for our military men and women, and the plan includes building a community center with indoor playground and splash park, tennis courts, volleyball courts, picnic areas and other recreational facilities throughout the housing community.”

“My top priorities for the Base and Station are to support military families, while bringing good paying jobs to the local economy. This project will do both,” said Heitkamp, co-founder of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus. “In numerous conversations, I have listened to top military officials praise our military facilities and the dedicated servicemembers who work there every day. However, they also made clear that housing conditions must be improved. This initiative will enable the military to offer upgraded housing for our servicemembers, better focus on its mission, and decrease costs. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Under the plan, the Air Force will convey 833 GFAFB homes, 1,746 Minot Air Force Base homes, and 14 Cavalier Air Force Station homes to Balfour Beatty Communities. The private company will modernize some homes; demolish unused, outdated homes; and build community centers at some locations with indoor playgrounds and splash parks, tennis courts, volleyball courts, picnic areas, walking paths and other recreational facilities throughout the housing area.

This project is part of the Northern Group Housing Project, which designs, develops, constructs, renovates, and manages military housing at six installations in New Mexico, Idaho, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The Northern Group Project will significantly improve military housing at these installations, while creating jobs and providing substantial economic benefits to the communities where these installations are located.