Military Housing: DoD Needs to Address Long-Standing Requirements Determination Problems
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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One of the pressing issues the Department of Defense DOD faces is its outsized and decaying infrastructure, and this problem is prominent in the family housing program. By DODs estimates, about two-thirds of military housing is inadequate and would require 16 billion and almost 30 years to renovate or replace using traditional military construction. Efforts to use private contractors to build and operate housing are off to a slow start and may require long-term commitments 50 years or more from the government. DODs policy is to rely on the private sector first for housing, but military members that live in private-sector housing and receive a cash allowance have paid 200 or more monthly in out-of-pocket costs. These additional costs are a significant disincentive for living in civilian housing, and avoiding them appears to be a primary reason that military members choose to live in military housing. In January 2000, the Secretary of Defense announced an initiative to increase allowances for servicemembers living in civilian housing to eliminate, by fiscal year 2005, the additional costs. In a recent report, we noted that about 72 percent of servicemembers prefer civilian housing if cost is not a factor, and concluded that increasing allowances to remove this disincentive would better satisfy the preferences of servicemembers and be likely to increase the use of civilian housing.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies