Ballard Spahr has a history of providing legal counsel to clients who work in the area of military housing construction, financing, development and renovation.  This is a timely area in which to focus, particularly given the recent upsurge in the use of armed forces, which has brought to light the need for adequate, comfortable housing for U.S. military families.

In 1996, the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) was established to help the military improve the condition of housing for those serving in the military by attracting private sector financing to create housing faster and more efficiently than through traditional construction methods. 

Despite the development of the MPHI, problems remain in the procurement of adequate and appropriate military housing. For starters, contemporary military families are living in outdated Department of Defense-owned housing which is generally in poor condition.  In addition, there is an overall shortage of high quality affordable private housing. To address these concerns, the DoD is working with the private sector to revitalize military family housing.

Ballard Spahr understands the complex issues that are involved in military housing deals—we are experienced in project finance, real estate, historic preservation and environmental issues, security law compliance involving public and private debt offerings and income tax issues. We also have a successful track record of effectively negotiating with the three branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Our clients include major underwriters, developers, and bondholder representatives.

To build on the service we have provided to these clients, Ballard Spahr has formed the Military Installation Finance Group.  The Group taps into the experience of 17 lawyers across the firm’s four departments and 11 offices. For specifics on various segments of the military housing finance market and the services we provide, read on.

Military Family Housing

  • There is a critical need for assistance in developing new military housing and reusing current housing: Approximately 10% of families live on-base, in government-owned military housing that is often dilapidated, too small and lacking in modern facilities.In fact, 45% (or 58,000 units) of current housing are substandard and 25% of the housing is over 40 years old.
  • We help to privatize housing for military personnel who have one or more family members living with them by serving as counsel to lenders, developers and bondholder representatives.
  • Listed below are recent transactions Ballard Spahr has closed for each of the military branches:
  • $609,628,887.60 Ohana Military Communities, LLC Military Housing Revenue Bonds (Navy Hawaii Housing Privatization Project) 2006 Series A and $233,515,594.20 Ohana Military Communities, LLC Military Housing Revenue Bonds (Marine Corps Hawaii Housing Privatization Project) 2006 Series B
  • $466,987,900 Fort Benning Family Communities LLC Military Housing Taxable Revenue Bonds (Fort Benning Housing Privatization Project) 2006 Series
  • $274,000,000 Taxable Military Housing Revenue Bonds - First Mortgage Lien Bonds, Series 2006 (McGuire Air Force Base/Fort Dix Privatized Military Housing Project) Class 2006-I

Enhanced Use Leases

  • The Department of Defense (DOD) recently announced that enhanced use leases, military construction exchanges, real property exchanges and BRAC dispositions will be used to develop projects.The projects will be developed on land that will be disposed of by the DoD through sales, exchanges or 50-year ground leases.
  • We serve as lender’s counsel for a major Wall Street investment banking firm on a variety of projects with a major developer/contractor with the United States Army at military installations in various locations throughout the United States. These deals are currently undergoing financing and are expected to close in 2008.