Buddy-up program gives single Airmen new housing opportunities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Liddicoet
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
As of late July, Soaring Heights Communities at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., has been offering a unique opportunity for single Airmen to live in base housing. The buddy-up program gives single Airmen who are eligible to move out of the dorms the chance to partner with one other single Airman to lease a house and split the costs.

Amara Comeau, Soaring Heights marketing manager, explained that Soaring Heights partnered with 49th Wing leadership to turn the concept of the buddy-up program into a reality.

"A need was assessed to provide single Airmen with an affordable alternative to living downtown," said Comeau. "We wanted to make it possible for Airmen to save money on commuting from downtown by being able to live in a home on base."

According to Comeau, two to four bedroom homes are currently available in the Tularosa Estates neighborhood.

Soaring Heights' ability to provide safe and reliable housing is a priority that is valued by Airmen participating in the buddy-up program.

"Twenty-four hour reliable security puts my mind at ease," said Senior Airman Arthur Prouse, 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron supply personnel, who is taking advantage of the Soaring Heights buddy-up program. "The safe neighborhoods and kind neighbors make living on base a must for me."

The buddy-up program also offers several financial advantages for single Airman.

"The houses we offer to Airmen in the buddy-up program come with no security or utility deposits, which isn't typically offered downtown," said Comeau. "With the ability to split the rent cost, Airmen in the buddy-up program are often able to save a portion of their Basic Allowance for Housing."

"You can cover almost all house related expenses with the money left over from your BAH. As for downtown versus on-base savings, you can save $300 to $700 depending on lifestyle choices. I also save about $200 a month on gas," said Staff Sgt. Michael Perkins, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron construction inspector, and Soaring Heights buddy-up program resident.

In addition, Soaring Heights is able to accommodate many needs that single Airmen may have difficulty satisfying in Alamogordo, N.M.

"Airmen living in our houses can have up to two pets with no monthly fees," said Comeau. "We can also provide 24-hour maintenance for any issues people might have day to day. Our goal is to provide Airmen with both quality and affordable housing."

The Soaring Heights community sees the buddy-up program as a chance to give back to servicemembers at Holloman AFB.

"It's been a positive experience on our side and in the community," said Comeau. "We want to do our part to give as many people this opportunity as possible."

For more information on the buddy-up program, call (575) 479-1175.