Military Families Struggle To Find Housing


by: Kristen Guilfoos

Thousands of Air Force personnel are expected to move onto Cannon Air Force Base over the next few years. And that leaves many wondering where all of those extra people are going to live.

What a difference a few years makes. Cannon Air Force base went from being on the brink of closing to expecting more than 5,000 personnel to move in by 2015.

They knew boot camp would be tough, but Christopher and Jessica Bailey had no idea finding a family-friendly house near the Air Force base would pose a challenge as well. Christopher says, "I started three months out and I probably looked at two or three dozen places and they were all too small or not in the right areas of town."

And that's not just the Baileys being picky. Their situation is similar to many other recently transferred active-duty families who are all becoming victims of a poor housing market.

Weichert Realtor's Katharine Fly says, "We've got 285 houses on the market right now. Last year we had about 400 houses on the market and it's just been steadily going down. It makes you wonder, how's it going to happen?"

Tim Farmer, the Chief of Property Asset Management at CAFB says, "We are concerned about that, we are working. As you can see in this housing area, we're demolishing some very sub-standard and we're building 422 new units."

The City of Clovis is ramping up it's development efforts as well. Several new construction projects are underway... And they have a lot of building to's estimated they'll need 2,000 new housing units over the next six years.

The sound of construction in progress is music to Tim Farmer's ears. "Between what they can build and what they have in inventory already, and what I can handle I think we're gonna be okay."

After an extensive search, the Baileys finally signed on the dotted line. They bought a three bedroom two bath townhouse. Moving day is slated for May 28th. As it stands now, base housing is about 75% full.