Managing a military housing portfolio approximately 40,000 residential units deep is no small task. It’s a role that, as Carolyn explains, involves a “lot of listening”.
The premise of an Australian managing such a large portion of the US military’s housing may seem complex, but Carolyn has mastered a transparent, concise explanation as to how the portfolio is financed, explaining where the housing allowance that servicemen and women are given is invested: “[The money] is used to pay the operational expenses, it’s used to pay down debt, it’s used to pay a whole lot of clearly defined expenses…any leftover money is reinvested into those installations and reinvested into those properties.” Clear lines of communication, whether it’s governing bodies or military families, is what makes this portfolio operate.
For Lendlease, the most important line of communication will always be with the military families living in these homes, as creating a thriving community starts with the people living in it. Building the best places involves more than just constructing a great building, particularly in communities where husbands or wives may be deployed for extended periods at a time: “The housing we provide for military families and the communities we create are so important because for a military spouse, when their husband or their wife is deployed, the fact that they have a community that understands what they’re going through is just so important.”
With such a vast portfolio of homes, some of which were built pre-1978, there is a great opportunity to ensure sustainable practices are being considered in their design and construction. While design teams work to incorporate sustainable concepts such as electronic vehicles for the homes yet to be built, work is already underway on many existing communities. For 5800 existing homes in our Island Palm Communities, Lendlease has partnered with Ameresco to improve energy and water systems, an initiative that’s expected to reduce energy consumption by over 32% and reduce water consumption by an estimated 28%.
Despite the busy nature of overseeing such a large portfolio, Carolyn finds the role incredibly rewarding, reflecting Lendlease’s belief that our partnership with the U.S. military is one to be incredibly proud of: “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this… it was 19 years before I got here, and there’ll be years after I’ve moved on to another role. So it’s that purpose in that partnership that made this a really appealing role.”
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