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New rental housing website launch pushed back

Jul. 2, 2014 - 05:16PM   |  
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The launch of the new Defense Department website Homes.mil, originally set for last Monday, has been moved to Sept. 8 for service members and their families, officials said.

The website will go live Aug. 23 for property managers, said DoD spokesman Mark Wright, and a further release of the website set for Nov. 22 will provide “expanded capability.”

The site will help connect troops and families with available rentals in civilian communities, privatized military housing and government-owned housing.

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

DoD ended the contract because the system didn’t meet information security requirements under federal law and DoD policy, a Navy official who managed the AHRN contract said at the time.

Navy officials said in May that the new site would launch June 30, with the goal of bringing back online property listings to active-duty members and their families before they make permanent change-of-station moves.

Officials said that with the new site under DoD control, it will offer “additional security to service members and their families in safeguarding their personal information.”

Information was not available about the reason for the delayed launch.

The AHRN.com site, which has operated since 2004, continues to provide housing information to troops, but is now funded by advertising and sponsorships. About 1.2 million service members and more than 220,000 landlords and property managers are registered on AHRN; registered users can use their previous account information.

Now, however, AHRN is open to the entire military community, including National Guard and Reserve personnel, retirees and veterans.

As with the AHRN site, troops and families will be able to use Homes.mil free, as will 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 troops.

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