Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) was formed in 2001 through a Department of Defense (DoD) contract with parent company Lincoln Property Company (LPC). Our reputation is built on the exceptional service our residents have come to expect from LMH communities. We understand that military families look for reliable organizations that provide long-term solutions to make their stressful lives easier. As we continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary, here's a look back at how it all began.
Shortly after LMH was founded, the 9/11 terrorist attacks launched America and the world into the Global War on Terror. We knew right away that we needed to do all we could to help prepare America's military families for extended deployments and the uncertainty that comes with war. Operation Enduring Freedom began on October 7, 2001, and our leadership immediately recognized that our families needed so much more than just a home. They needed a sense of security, community, and a way to connect with others.
Philip Rizzo, CEO and COO of Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) has first-hand knowledge of what life is like for our military families. The son of an Air Force Officer and former Soldier, Philip spent many of his formative years shuffling from installation to installation across the country. That experience shaped both his approach to leadership and his awareness of what military families experience.
"I grew up in a military house, and moving every few years can be isolating," said Rizzo. "So what we try to do here is make sure those moves are as least stressful as possible."
In 2001, the attack on 9/11 changed the trajectory of LMH's mission.
"Everything changed overnight. We started seeing large-scale deployments levels not seen since WWII. All of a sudden, service members were leaving their families for months at a time, and that change was unsettling for many families," said Rizzo.
The change for military families meant change for LMH as well.
"Our mission went from improving the overall standard of living for families to finding ways to ensure our military families felt connected, safe, and secure," said Rizzo, noting that LMH made even some of the earliest design choices with families in mind.
The last two decades have ushered in a new era for military family housing, partly because of the Initial Development Period (IDP) construction work facilitated by Public-Private Venture (PPV) partnerships between private companies and various branches of the United States military. LMH entered into its first agreement in 2001 and has paved the way for safe, equitable housing ever since. IDPs reflect PPV-led initiatives to revitalize existing housing communities and structures. Independent of IDPs, LMH has proactively facilitated the development of several communities at installations around the country.
In Phase I development in the Southwest Navy region, LMH concentrated its renovations on creating smaller back yards and larger front yards, so neighbors could have a place to congregate and get to know one another.
"Common areas, playgrounds, and even resident events were all designed to build and strengthen relationships for families managing the home front during deployments," said Rizzo.
Now twenty years on, the LMH mission, like the military's mission, is evolving. Deployment rates are the lowest they've been in two decades, which means more service members are home for more extended periods, making the home a central focus for many military families.
"As the housing needs change and evolve for our residents, we keep a tap on the pulse of what the market wants. Things like open floor plans, more common spaces, better amenities – are just some of the features America's military families are looking for in a home. We owe it to our service members to make their experiences positive, so that's what we're aiming to do," said Rizzo.
When asked how his own military experiences have colored the vision of LMH, Rizzo said that he understands the unique pressures military families experience.
"One of the most remarkable things about LMH is that we're more than just a traditional property management company. Our team members are centrally focused on providing exemplary customer service to our residents because many of our team members have served or are spouses of service members. That puts us in a unique position to not only provide residents with amazing experiences but to also be in a place where we can honestly and truly relate to what they're experiencing," said Rizzo.
Now, two decades on, our mission is still the same - to provide military families with exceptional service in quality home environments. We aim to achieve this mission by embodying our Core Values. We strive to provide our team members and partners with a sense of balance so we can all achieve more together. We are committed to delivering exceptional service for those who serve our country, and no matter the stakes, we speak and act honorably and do the right thing. We are driven by our respect for the military and our empathy for service members and their families. LMH team members are empowered to be proactive and take ownership of our success. Many of our team members have deep connections with the military, and these connections help us produce a shared understanding that guides all of our interactions.
We would not be the company we are today were it not for our government partners and team members' assistance, support, and dedication to our mission. We are deeply honored to shoulder this tremendous responsibility and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve our military.
In December 2020, LMH became the only PPV company in the country to be employee-owned. Our Team Members benefit from being a part of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in three main ways: gaining retirement benefits, developing a strong sense of loyalty and job security, and being more engaged and committed to the mission and success of LMH. The ESOP is a way for us to take care of our Team Members and the company for the future. We know that our Team Members, many of whom are military-affiliated, are passionate about working for us because of whom we serve - military families. We hope that by providing a vested interest in our work, our Team Members will feel even more empowered to provide the best service in the industry—the transition to employee ownership ushers in a new era.