Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The current DOD military housing program

The DoD military family housing program is funded by an annual Congressional appropriation. An appropriation is a legal statute that provides budget authority for the military services and other federal
agencies to incur obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury. Appropriations are necessary for DoD to operate its over 300,000 units within the continental United States at an annual cost of over $3
billion, including the monthly BAH allowance given to its service members.

The Navy may house a smaller percentage of families because of a history of long deployments away from families or because housing is more available in seaports than in isolated Army and Air Force bases.

Funding tor Navy housing comes from an appropriation titled Family Housing, Navy and Marine Corps (FH,N&MC). FH,N?<MC is broken down into two categories, Construction and Operations & Maintenance. The Operations and Maintenance account provides funding for the cost
of housing management, appliances, services, leasing, repairs and utilities. It has a one year obligation period which means that funds for a given year can only be obligated in that year. The Construction
account provides funding for the planning and construction of new units and housing improvements to existing units. Unlike the 0?<M account, Construction has a five year obligation period to allow for the time consuming process of awarding contracts and completing construction.

Supported by the FH,N?<MC appropriation, the Navy owns and operates nearly 70,000 units.

Annually, each service department must develop a budget request tor their anticipated MFH expenditures as a part of the overall service budget request to Congress. The number of units constructed with
appropriated funds actually remained steady throughout the 1970 's, but then declined in the 1980's when alternatives to appropriated funding, such as Section 802 Lease's, became more desirable.

Although "quality of life" issues have gained much attention in the 1990's, family housing construction has not increased as steeply as many experts believe necessary. The reason for this is partially because of tight budgets and partially because of a reluctance to modernize or build units at bases that may end up being closed.

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