Local businesses and leaders in eastern North Carolina expressed strong reservations last week about efforts under way to construct on-base housing at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.
Officials drafted plans in 2010 to add almost 1,000 homes to address a long waiting list for on-base housing, but the drawdown in forces overseas means the Marine Corps will be shrinking the number of personnel assigned to the installations. The waiting list already has dropped from 1,400 to 153 families, reported the Daily News.
And even though the Marine Corps scaled back its constructions plans, area businesses are worried the new housing on-base will result in vacancies outside the installations’ gates. New River already has started to open up its housing to DOD civilians, reservists, retirees and single service members. Businesses are particularly anxious about the prospect that at some point on-base vacancies will be made available to the general public.
“The final stage of the waterfall would kill us all out here,” said Debbie Rouse, a real estate property manager.