Air Force families weren’t the only beneficiaries of this week’s opening of 31 new homes on Peterson Air Force Base.

About $27.1 million of a budgeted $49.3 million has been paid to local construction tradesmen and suppliers.  From painters and drywallers to landscaping companies, house cleaners and finish carpenters, hundreds of Pikes Peak region workers have been on the job since last year.

The housing project is the result of a partnership between Actus Lend Lease and the U.S. Air Force, under the Military Housing Privatization Initiative of 1996.

Another $32.3 million will be allocated through Actus’ Tierra Vista Communities’ construction at Schriever Air Force Base, said Meryl Large, the company’s marketing manager.

During a six-year development period, Actus is scheduled to build 597 three- and four-bedroom homes and renovate 54 homes at Peterson. Tierra Vista Communities will maintain the homes until 2057.

“For the next five years, every month we are going to get another 30 homes, so this is just the beginning of a long-term quality of life issue for Peterson Air Force Base,” said Col. Jay Raymond, 21st Space Wing commander.

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