Navy to replace base housing on Whidbey Island

NASWI announced two housing projects, though they won’t increase the total number of units available.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island announced two housing projects during a meeting with community leaders on Oct. 27, though they won’t increase the total number of units available.

Hunt Military Communities — the largest U.S. military housing owner — is in the preliminary design phase on a planned project to replace the Whidbey Apartment Complex at Ault Field. Though the company couldn’t estimate a start or completion date, the base hopes to break ground by next summer and to move in residents in 2025.

The project consists of building 40 multi-family homes at Victory Terrace, 23 multi-family homes at Maylor Point and 13 single family homes at Crescent Harbor. Once construction is completed, the current complex — which houses 74 units — at Ault Field will be demolished. Rent, according to information provided by Deputy Public Affairs Officer Thomas Mills, will be based on service members’ basic allowance for housing rates.

Hunt Military Communities is also planning renovation work in the Crescent Harbor neighborhood, with preliminary work expected to begin by the third quarter of 2024. Renovation work will consist of interior, exterior and infrastructure modifications to modernize about 129 homes and improve energy efficiency.

These projects are entirely self-funded through reinvested rental revenue generated from the Northwest’s public-private venture military housing inventory, according to the company.

According to information presented during the meeting, 65% of the base population lives in the community and 35% lives on base. The cost of housing outside of the base, however, exceeds the basic allowance for housing and has increased by 12% since 2012 alone.

According to information provided by Mills, the last housing project was completed in 2009, but it also replaced old housing.

A recent market analysis projected a 101 unit shortfall by 2026, said Capt. Eric Hanks, commanding officer of the base.