WHAT IS HEAT?
Housing Early Assistance Tool (HEAT) creates an easy on-line experience to connect you, the Service Member, with your future destination and offers an on-line venue to obtain housing assistance prior to a PCS transfer. HQ Air Force Housing has successfully implemented HEAT across the AF Enterprise so members can reach out to installations when preparing for transition. Installations are accessible through the HEAT tool across CONUS and most OCONUS installations. Members should use HEAT when preparing to transfer to their new assignment. Learn more at the HOMES.mil site.
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Housing in the Local Community
The Housing Referral Office (HRO) provides all DoD personnel with a personalized service to assist in locating suitable housing in your new host country. Moving to a new country can often be confusing and stressful; however, it can also be exciting. Living off base provides members and families the chance to experience a new culture and make friends with their host country neighbors. The HRO will assist you every step of the way to help you find your new home in the local community.
Contact the HRO as soon as you know you are moving. The government housing team will provide you the latest information on the local housing situation as well as local laws governing off-base housing. The HRO partners with landlords, realtors and property managers to make sure you receive the most current information about the local housing market.
The HRO monitors off-base rental listings to ensure that they are safe and adequate. You must report to the HRO within two work days of arrival. We are located in Building 87. Our office hours are Mon - Thurs from 0900-1600, Fri from 0900-1400. Tuesdays and Thursdays are by appointment only. We are closed on German holidays. You must report to the HRO before you sign any housing contract.
The HRO can assist you by:
- Providing translation services to establish appointments to view available units
- Negotiating lease contracts
- Assisting in establishing utility services
- Providing Temporary Lodging Allowance and Overseas Housing Allowance support
The Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) rates match local rents and utilities, however, you should be sure, that rent and utilities are affordable. Vist theDefense Travel Management Office website to view OHA rates. (Geilenkirchen Code for is GM351)
Your sponsor should arrange the transportation to prospective residences. After you move into your home, the HRO is available for on-going assistance with translation services should you need to communicate with your landlord.
Community Housing Units
The HRO provides up-to-date listings of available economy units, translation services, and landlord/tenant mediation. Please visit
homes.mil to view available housing at Geilenkirchen. You can find directions to navigate this site under Support Services, "Find Available Houses in Geilenkirchen".
On average a German house is approximately 120 sq meters (1291 sq feet) and cost approximately 800.00 Euros per month (approximately $1100.00 at the current exchange rate). Rooms tend to be smaller, but there are some with large sized rooms. Duplex homes are common; however, stand-alone or bungalow houses are also available. Many will have full basements. Some homes do not have closets similar to U.S. homes and Schranks are used for storing clothing and other items. These are available through the Schinnen Furnishings Management Office. Often houses are rented with no light fixtures; kitchens tend to be smaller than what we are used to in the U.S. and some lack appliances. The Furnishings Management Office will provide a kitchen range, refrigerator and kitchen cabinets when required. They also will provide a washer/dryer. Many landlords do not allow pets, so ask before making any commitments.
Personal Property Insurance
You need to obtain legal liability and personal property insurance for your possessions and should choose the options and amounts that best fit your needs and lifestyle. There are several types of insurance (personal property, liability, pet insurance and legal representation) members may purchase to protect their property and tenant rights.
We strongly recommend you consider buying commercial insurance to protect yourself in case of fire or a major loss. A common policy for this coverage would likely be a renter's liability insurance, which would cover your personal property and damages to your rental. Before purchasing your insurance, please consult the HRO for more information about coverage.
The use of local realtor services is typically unnecessary and is not recommended unless a home for rent is only listed with a specific realtor. In OCONUS, if you choose to use realtor services, discuss fees up front, as some realtors charge a finder's fee and government reimbursement is rarely authorized. To request government reimbursement for realtor services in OCONUS, you must submit a request for authorization through the HMO before signing a lease or contract. In CONUS, fees for realtor services are not reimbursable.
The HRO uses the USAFE sanctioned lease which benefits the military. The HRO ensures the government pays fair market value and the HRO can mediate on the tenant's behalf in case of a dispute. With a German lease, neither the HRO nor Legal Office can mediate for the tenant.
We wish you and your family a safe trip and look forward to serving you.