MILITARY HOUSING: Installations Need to Share Information on Their Section 801 On-Base Housing Contracts
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The Military Construction Authorization Act, 1984, established the Military Family Housing Leasing Program, commonly referred to as the Section 801 housing program. This authority provided a mechanism for DOD to contract with private developers to build new rental housing on or near military installations. The Section 801 program is also referred to as a build-to-lease program. The program permitted contracts entered into under its authority to allocate responsibility for operating and maintaining the units to either the government or the contractor, and required that units be constructed to DOD standards, initial leases be for a period not in excess of 20 years excluding construction, and, upon termination of the lease period, that the government have the right of first refusal to acquire the facilities constructed and leased under the contract. The Section 801 program was initially authorized as a pilot program for approximately two years, under which the number of housing units to be built could not exceed 300 per contract, with a maximum of two contracts per military department. Subsequent legislation renewed the program, expanded the number of units that could be constructed, and increased the number of contracts allowed by each service. The housing constructed under the Section 801 housing program was available to all members of the armed forces who are eligible for assignment to military family housing. Between 1985 and 1996, under the Section 801 program, DOD awarded eight contracts to private developers to construct approximately 3,100 military family housing units-a combination of two-, three-, four-, and five bedroom units-on seven military installations. Also, under the Section 801 authority, DOD built numerous housing units off-base, located near approximately 20 military installations.
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