I can give you a little bit of insight on housing and gate experiences, but every base and branch is different.
My hubbs was stationed at a small AFB with 2.5 gates and the traffic was and still is horrendous to the point one is entry only for certain hours due to backing up into the neighborhood. And that's on 'normal' security days. Exercises and real world events can add on a lot of time too. Basically, be ready for anything to happen. Try to find out what time colors and retreat are played and REMEMBER them. You have to stop your car if your moving or stand and face the main flag if you're outside. Gate operations stop for that time frame too. For the most part, you do show your ID card and they scan it (all of ours in the AF have but Navy facilities I've been at just hand check...really depends on branch and base) but be ready for random vehicle inspections. Every time I was pulled for one was when I was running behind schedule and I knew I was going to be pulled as soon as I saw the MP and dog. If you do get the position, ask about average commute times and even try to do 'dry runs' of the drive to get a better idea.
Also, while driving on base, WATCH YOUR SPEED. The MPs love to give speeding tickets. They even had a message on the sign board they just got a 'new toy' (radar gun) and were going to be 'playing' with it a lot. I would always set my cruise control to prevent getting a ticket and the hubbs in trouble (probably won't apply to you, but gives you an idea of why others might be going slower than you might like. You can lose on base driving privileges for too many infractions.)
Housing was potentially available to civilian workers, but they were more than likely on the bottom of the list behind DoD employees, retirees, etc. Again, this could have just been our base. All of the units were townhouse style and I've noticed that on other bases too. It doesn't hurt to look into it, but at least where we were base housing wasn't the most popular or cheapest option.
Hope this helps a little. My first few times driving on base were nerve wracking, but after a bit you become a pro. Good luck on the application too!