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News | Feb. 9, 2024

Improving Service Member Quality of Life: Construction begins on SOUTHCOM’s New Military Housing Complex

By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

DORAL, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2024) – Across the street from U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) headquarters, tractors and earth movers are clearing the land and laying the groundwork for a new military housing community that will dramatically increase the quality of life of service members and families assigned to SOUTHCOM.

The work at the site represents a major milestone in the birth of a new military community; a 139-unit development that will be the first military housing in South Florida since the closure of housing units at Homestead Air Force Base in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The beginning of construction is the first tangible progress in a years-long effort to provide affordable, safe and quality housing for personnel assigned to SOUTHCOM.

“It’s a great sight for all of us to come to work in the morning and look across the street and see this new community coming to life from the ground up,” said SOUTHCOM Chief of Staff, Army Maj. Gen. Scott Jackson. “Finally, after more than 8 years of work, the start of construction of this much-needed housing is a reality.”

The new housing will alleviate the strain on SOUTHCOM service members and families moving to the greater Miami area. The region has become one of the most desirable locations in the United States, with recent record growth and the rising cost of housing that comes with it.

The complex will also address long-standing readiness challenges with housing key and essential service members near the SOUTHCOM headquarters.

“The impacts of increased cost of living and housing costs was a driving factor to develop affordable, permanent housing to take care of our number one priority -- our military service members and their families,” Army Gen. Laura Richardson, the commander of SOUTHCOM, said at the site’s groundbreaking in early 2023.

The new housing community is expected to boast 139 state-of-the-art units, including 60 apartment units that are designed to serve 120 unaccompanied service members, 24 duplexes, 48 townhouses and seven single-family homes.

The housing is being built on 51 acres of federal land that the Federal Aviation Administration transferred to the Army at no cost. Lendlease, an Army privatized housing partner, is constructing the new housing and will operate and maintain the community once completed.

Site development and preparation is expected to be complete by January 2025 and actual housing units will be completed in phases with some housing available by the Summer of 2026 and all of the housing completed by early 2027.

The SOUTHCOM housing project is part of the Department of Defense’s Military Housing Privatization Initiative aimed at providing service members with affordable and comfortable housing that is conveniently located near their duty stations. 

Authorized in the mid-1990s, the program leverages competitively selected private sector housing partners and their investment capital to revitalize existing housing or construct new housing, then operate and maintain it over a 50-year period.  There are no upfront costs to the military departments and housing partners recover their investments by collecting rent consistent with service members’ housing allowances over the life of the community.

SOUTHCOM is one of the nation’s six geographically focused unified commands. The command is responsible for U.S. defense and security cooperation with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, as well as U.S. military operations in the region.

The headquarters is comprised of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing all U.S. military services and several other federal agencies. The command was established in 1963 and based in Panama until 1997, when the headquarters moved to South Florida.