Housing is #BetteratBenning

Residents participate in an ice cream social, one of the many community events hosted by The Villages of Benning. #betteratbenning

Residents participate in an ice cream social, one of the many community events hosted by The Villages of Benning. #betteratbenning

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

Tired of commuting? Paying too much rent? Want to be part of a close-knit community?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then living on Fort Benning is the right move for you.

The Villages of Benning has more than 4,000 units with over 25 floor plans to choose from. They range from 1,000 to 3,200 square feet in size, said Heather Bearden, the marketing coordinator for the Villages of Benning.

“You and your family will be able to enjoy the safety and security associated with a large patrolled and gated community,” said Keith Lovejoy, the Fort Benning housing chief.

The Villages of Benning is privatized housing available to active-duty military, retirees, Department of Defense and federal agency civilians and non-military civilians, Bearden said.

“Here, you don’t have to put down a deposit or down payment if you’re active duty and there’s no application fee,” she continued.

Bearden explained that utilities (power and water) are included in the rent so that individuals can pay for everything all at one time. Lawn maintenance, pest control, maintenance and weekly trash services are some of the many other benefits included in your rent.

The neighborhood community centers offer game rooms, fitness centers, five village pools and event centers that residents can enjoy. There are splash parks and playgrounds for families and dog parks for people with pets, said Bearden.

“But I think what most individuals really enjoy about living on post is the camaraderie. We host community events each month to enhance the close-knit community feel,” she said.

Bearden also emphasized the convenience of living on Benning.

While convenient to many places where residents work, The Villages of Benning homes are also close to the hospital and many shopping and dining areas, including a new Domino’s and Starbucks located within McGraw Village, as well as a brand new Zaxby’s on main post.

“We’re also within walking distance to some of the top rated Department of Defense Education Activity schools,” Bearden said.

“Fort Benning’s DoDEA schools are held in the highest regard, with standardized exam scores far exceeding those of the local school districts,” she continued.

Fort Benning has first class schools that provide the highest quality of learning in the area while maintaining a safe environment, added Lovejoy, who served in the Army for 27 years.

“I lived on post for all but three years of my service. My kids are both college graduates and well-grounded adults, a fact I contribute a lot to them being brought up and attending on-post schooling with their peers,” he continued.

Lovejoy also mentioned the large financial benefit that comes with living in close proximity to where you work, such as saving on the cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance and free access to fitness centers.

On-post living also enables individuals to have their own home without having to deal with the cost and hassles of actually owning and maintaining it, added Bearden.

This is ideal for Soldiers and families who know they’re going to be experiencing a permanent change of station in the near future. It often takes up to two or three years for homeowners to break even should they have to sell their home in such a short period of time. In other cases they might find themselves acting as landlords from afar, both of which can be difficult. Living on post alleviates such pressures, Bearden said.

“We work hard to quickly resolve any issues that residents may have. In the event of an emergency, residents have access to maintenance 24/7,” added Bearden.

Bearden encouraged individuals who are unsure about living on post to come out and take a look at what Fort Benning housing has to offer. With the big declines in Soldiers’ basic allowance for housing at Benning over the past two years, your money goes much farther on post than in the past.

“We’re very competitive. We have newly renovated homes and new construction homes,” Bearden said.

“We have plenty of specials going on right now. We have flat rate less than basic allowance housing neighborhoods so that Soldiers can save some of their basic allowance for housing, she added.

For more information, contact the Villages of Benning at 706-685-3939 or visit their website at www.villagesofbenning.com.

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