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New referral website to help troops find housing

Jun. 4, 2014 - 02:24PM   |  
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A new Homes.mil website will launch June 30, helping connect troops and spouses with information about available rentals in civilian communities, privatized military housing and government-owned housing, Navy officials said.

Homes.mil will launch for all Defense Department installations worldwide simultaneously as a replacement for the Automated Housing Referral Network, which provided the service under DoD contract until Dec. 31.

AHRN.com, which has operated since 2004, continues to provide housing information to troops, but is now funded by advertising and sponsorships, said Paul Giese, AHRN.com manager for Runzheimer International.

AHRN has 1.2 million service members and 220,749 landlords and property managers registered, Giese said. Registered users can use their previous account information; AHRN is open to the entire military community, including National Guard and reserve, retirees and veterans.

As with the AHRN sites, troops and families will be able to use the Homes.mil site free, as well as civilian landlords, owners and property managers who will add available housing listings, customize them with photos and floor plans, and update them. The site also will allow service members to list their own rental properties and market them to other service members.

Troops and spouses will be able to set up accounts at Homes.mil. Common Access Cards are not required. Accounts are not required to view rental listings but are to see details of listings and to get property manager contact information.

Giese said Runzheimer has added some features to the AHRN site, such as a permanent change-of-station checklist. Troops and families can sign up for emails with guidance and checklists of things they need to think about. A new blog area includes PCS tips from a network of military spouses who are employed as contractors.

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