Eielson Service Members and Families Will be Hit Hard if Ordered to Relocate

Anxiety levels across the interior continue to rise regarding the possible relocation of F–16’s from Eielson to Anchorage.

While the Interior would suffer a hit to the economy, a local realtor and Army veteran says Air Force service members forced to relocate would be hardest hit of all.

Local Realtor and Army veteran Wes Madden says no doubt the local housing market and, subsequently, the economy will take a hit should relocation of F–16's take place.

"The law of supply and demand is irrefutable.  If we flood the market with a ton of inventory that can't be absorbed in a short amount o time, values are going to be impacted."

What is being over–looked, according to Madden, is the impact to Air Force service members and their families.

"They didn't have an option to get base housing, there wasn't any available.  There were certain ranks that when they got P.C.S'd (permanent change of station) here, they didn't have a housing option that was provided by the government, so they had to, they were forced to purchase on the economy."

An economy which cannot process a flood of listings, which in turn, would negatively affect their ability to sell their home and will impact their credit and finances.

"The Department of Defense has a Home Owner Assistance program.  It's a great program, but it was designed for the B.R.A.C. (base realignment and closure) moves.  The problem with this move is that it's not B.R.A.C, so they are not covered by the Home Owners Assistance program, which would buy out your home.  That leaves these people up to shorts sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or foreclosure, short sales being the best option, but you need a buyer."

Selling a home for less than it’s worth, or foreclosing on the property, then purchasing or renting in the Anchorage bowl area with median home values almost double than here in the Interior and given the fact that many service members security clearance is partly based on a decent credit score...and  you've got a recipe for financial disaster.

"When we disrupt our soldiers and airmen at home, you know it doesn't help the Air Force.  It doesn't help the Army.  We really need to think about the impact we're having on the operational readiness of our fighting force."