New homes replacing older units at Shaw Air Force Base

A junior enlisted family moved into one of the new homes after assisting in the ribbon cutting ceremony

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC (WACH) - Houses dating back to the 1950s at Shaw Air Force Base are being replaced with contemporary-style residences. It is a nice gift for those giving back to their country.

A family housing privatization ribbon cutting was held for Sr. Airman Joseph Chumbley and his wife at the base Friday morning.

Cumbley is the first to move into one of the new units.

"They've got hardwood floors in here now, so that is a tremendous upgrade. They're a lot bigger; the closet is a lot bigger. We just happened to be the oldest couple to be on base housing, so we're the first ones to move in," said Chumbley.

The plan is to bring 630 new, rank-based, three and four bedroom homes with two-car garages to Shaw.

"I think it is absolutely beautiful compared to where we came from, so I am really excited," said Chumbley's wife, Ashley Chumbley.

Officials say the base turned over privatized housing management to Forest City Military Communities (FCMC) in September 2011. Housing privatization shifts the operations and the maintenance responsibility of family housing to the private sector, whose expertise is to build and manage housing, allowing airmen and soldiers to focus on the military mission.

FCMC has leased 306 acres of land from the Air Force as part of a 50-year agreement.