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Study: Anchorage may not be able to house Eielson F-16 squadron

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

According to a new study commissioned by the Air Force, if the proposed (and currently stalled) relocation of the Eielson Air Force Base's F-16 agressor squadron goes through, the Anchorage housing market may have a difficult time accommodating military personnel and their families, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

The 48-page study by contractor SAIC was completed on Aug. 31, but released Tuesday after Air Force review. It looks at the Anchorage housing market for the period of 2012 to 2014. The study notes that the Anchorage's vacancy rate is around 2.6 percent, which indicates that housing availability for transferred military and family would be extremely limited in the city. 

Sen. Mark Begich said, "(the report) echoes exactly what we had been saying: That the housing capacity in Anchorage and the surrounding area and on base will not be able to supply the housing needs of a move of the F-16s to the Anchorage area."

Sen. Begich, D-Alaska, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, have all been critical of the move since day one.

Earlier this year, Begich worked with Young and Murkowski to help delay the move and conduct studies, including this latest Anchorage housing market report. But extra time will be up come Sept. 30, 2012, the end of the current federal fiscal year.

Read more, here.