Under a U.S. Air Force plan to privatize its housing, military families would no longer live rent-free at Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls. The Air Force has proposed turning over the construction, renovation and demolition of base housing to a private developer by October 2010.
Recognizing that private developers could furnish base accommodations more efficiently than the government, the Defense Department began entering into housing contracts in 1996. Currently more than two-thirds of family housing units at air bases in the continental United States are run by private landlords. Military families receive a basic housing allowance that they use to pay rent.
At Malmstrom the Air Force would award a 50-year contract to a single developer, who would also build, operate and maintain housing at bases in Wyoming and Missouri.