Housing office encourages inbound Airmen to plan ahead

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Ward
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
With an increase in tourism forecasted, several large community events scheduled and a housing crunch, base housing officials are encouraging Airmen coming to Ellsworth to plan ahead and take steps now to be prepared. 


For those who are traveling to South Dakota in the upcoming months, arranging for lodging early is more important than ever, according to Laura Frink, the Ellsworth Air Force Base Military Housing Office (MHO) housing program manager.  To help with the transition, the program is dedicated to making sure everyone making a permanent change of station (PCS) to Ellsworth has a plan.

“Our key point for inbound personnel is to ensure that they are prepared in advance for the housing situation,” says Frink. “As soon as they have orders for Ellsworth AFB, and they are interested in living on base, they need to put in their application and get on the waitlist. And, have a back-up plan.”

Frink noted that monthly rentals or extended stays in hotels are two of the most recommended lodging routes for incoming personnel as it may take time to acquire keys to their new home. She said that a member’s chance of moving into a home on base right upon their arrival in South Dakota is almost slim to none, adding that Ellsworth base housing is always in high demand, holding steady at 96 percent occupancy on a consistent basis, so having a back-up plan is a must.

“We do our best to educate in advance and ensure that we clearly communicate reasonable and realistic expectations for their move to Ellsworth,” said Frink, adding that members should do their homework beforehand.

According to data provided by the MHO, for those who wish to live out in the community, the current real estate climate in the Black Hills is that of a seller’s market. Houses are usually sold within 15 days of being put on the market. The trend, lately, is that even off-base properties are filling up rapidly, so incoming Airmen must remain vigilant with their upcoming move to better prepare themselves and their families.

“The housing market in the Rapid City area, for both sales and rentals, is very competitive and fast moving with low inventory,” Frink said. “We recommend people be proactive in researching off base housing options prior to arrival in the area.”

For more information, or to start the base housing application process, call the Ellsworth MHO at 605-385-2570.