McMorris Rodgers, Murray Call for More Housing for Fairchild AFB Families

Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today urged Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall to reevaluate the housing needs at Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) with the goal of building more housing on and around base. In a letter to the secretary, the lawmakers requested a complete and thorough Housing Requirement and Market Analysis (HRMA) to assess the Fairchild local housing market and its ability to meet military housing demand.

“The Spokane and Airway Heights communities have long supported and partnered with Fairchild AFB and continue to help ensure its servicemembers thrive. In recent years, however, the local housing market has changed dramatically, making it difficult for Fairchild military families to find suitable and affordable housing in the area,” the lawmakers wrote. 

They continued, “The Spokane region’s apartment vacancy rate has been at or below 2.1 percent since the spring of 2019. [H]ousing prices have increased by 28.2 percent in the last year, and the population continues to grow with another 48,000 residents anticipated by 2030. On base housing availability is extremely limited as well. Fairchild AFB Privatized Housing currently has a 97.8 percent occupancy rate, [and] there are currently 149 military families on a waitlist for base housing, with wait times ranging anywhere from one to nine months. This is unacceptable – our servicemembers and their families need safe, affordable housing to live in, and Air Force action is needed.”

They concluded, “The last full HRMA for Fairchild AFB was conducted in 2005. A new HRMA is necessary to thoroughly assess the availability of suitable and affordable housing in the local area, as well as the needs of the Fairchild AFB military population. This must be done as expeditiously as possible to ensure we are supporting our servicemembers to the best of our ability.”

NOTE: Though a validation of the most recent HRMA study was conducted in 2019, a complete and thorough analysis of the Fairchild local housing market and its ability to meet military housing demand has not been conducted in over 16 years. During that time, the Spokane region’s housing market has changed significantly, highlighting the need for additional military family housing. A new HRMA would help the Air Force assess and address the current housing issues at Fairchild AFB.

CLICK HERE to read the letter.

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