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Housing Service Office (HSO)

Housing Service Office (HSO)

Hawaii Coast Guard Housing Services Office

 

www.ahrn.com

In addition to the classified ads in newspapers and on websites, members searching for rentals on the economy may also use the Housing Service Office (HSO), formerly known as the Community Home-finding Relocation Referral Services (CHRRS). The HSO is provided by the Army and offers access to a large database of rental listings. It will help you obtain a satisfactory rental with the right contract terms. The HSO can be reached at 808-438-0149/6198/3820. All members are strongly encouraged to use the services of the Base Honolulu Housing Branch and HSO to expeditiously find civilian housing. It will: advise you of the overall rental situation on the island and review the rental lease with you to make sure it contains the necessary clauses for your protection.

Before using the HSO’s services, members must check in to the gaining command and complete their housing brief with Base Honolulu Housing, to include receiving their TLA entitlement counseling from the Transportation Office. The Base Honolulu Transportation Office will provide the proper TLA package in which you will record the rental units you viewed.

Rental Housing Costs

Honolulu-area rental costs are well above the national average. Most one-bedroom units are in low- or high-rise apartments, but a few town houses are available. Two- and three-bedroom units are found in high-rise apartments or town houses.

Three-bedroom units are mostly single-family houses. Most four- and five-bedroom units are single-family homes and may be difficult to locate. Because nearly all rentals require first month’s rent plus a security deposit (equal to one month’s rent), expenditures could total from $2,000 to $3,500. Members can request advance BAH to help pay for these upfront costs. A request to your unit Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) for an advance payment of up to three months of BAH is available. CG Mutual Assistance loans are also granted (for security deposits only). Contact the Base Honolulu SPO at 808-842-2025 for assistance.

 

Your Housing Search

An adequate search for housing consists of the following (while in a TLA status):

  • During the first 10-day TLA period, at least five units must be looked at. Each housing unit must be available for rental (not already rented).
  • In each successive 10-day period, the member or family must look at least 10 suitable and available housing units.
  • Each of the units is within the limits of the member’s BAH.
  • Each unit meets the member’s minimum bedroom requirements.
  • Each unit meets the member or family’s unique requirements. For example, units that allow pets if the family has a pet; appropriate facility outfitting if a family member is physically challenged and a member of the CG’s Special Needs Program.
  • Each unit is within reasonable commuting time.

Lack of personal POV and non-arrival of HHG are not valid reasons for failure to look for suitable housing or for signing a lease.

An “Adequate” Rental Unit

The Coast Guard definition of an adequate rental unit is:

  • A complete dwelling unit with private entrance, bath and kitchen for the sole use of the occupants and so arranged that both kitchen and bedrooms can be entered without passing through bedrooms.
  • Unit must be well constructed and in a good state of repair with kitchen equipment provided or available on a rental basis.
  • Unit must be located in a residential area which meets acceptable standards for health sanitation and which is not subject to offensive fumes, industrial noises and other environmental factors hazardous to the health of the occupants.
  • Within a one-hour commute of work.

A member may choose to rent a unit that does not conform to the aforementioned definition. Because HSO lists only housing units that meet the above adequacy criteria and whose landlords have signed a statement of nondiscrimination, it benefits you to look at units listed on the HSO’s DOD Referral website at www.ahrn.com.

Caution on Rental Refusals

If you are in a TLA status and are searching for an on-the-economy rental, you must be careful what reasons you provide for not accepting a rental on the Record of Housing Search. You can be denied TLA payment if you refuse rentals for invalid reasons. Call the Base Honolulu Transportation Office at 808-842-2024/2020 if you have questions.

Valid Reasons for Rental Rejection

The following conditions can justify a refusal to accept a rental unit (while in a TLA status):

  • The combined rental fee and cost of utilities (except telephone) are beyond the member’s means. The Coast Guard considers the unit to be too expensive.
  • The distance to school seems excessive or there is a lack of public transportation.
  • The rental unit is located in a high-crime neighborhood.

The member must provide detailed substantiation of either or all of these factors to justify not renting.

Invalid Reasons for Rental Rejection

The following are some examples of invalid reasons to reject a rental unit (while in a TLA status):

  • Lack of enclosed garages.
  • Lack of exterior storage.
  • Lack of fenced yards.
  • Commute times up to one hour.

Commuting Distances

Most community residences are considered to be within reasonable commuting time of any duty station on Oahu (one-hour commute by a privately owned vehicle, one way, during rush hours and no further than 30 miles from the installation).

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