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Navy Family Housing

(Note: The below article is from the Aug 97 edition of Navy "All Hands" Magazine.


Family Housing program

Housing always has been a primary concern of Navy people regardless of duty assignment. The principle objective of the military housing program is to ensure that all military personnel, their spouses and family members have adequate quarters. Members receive BAQ and VHA for housing in the civilian community or are assigned to adequate government housing.
Family housing is owned and operated by the Navy, but the basic policy is to rely on the local civilian housing market in communities near military installations as the primary source of family housing.
Each year, certain military installations conduct surveys to determine whether a local community’s housing market can meet the Navy’s needs. Vacant rental units in the area are also evaluated for suitability.
Several criteria are used to determine whether rental units are suitable for and usable by military members.
First, a unit must be within a one-hour commute of the base. Second, the unit must be in adequate condition, including such amenities as hot and cold running water; flushable toilet; shower and bath; electrical service; adequate heating and cooling; and a sufficient number of bedrooms for the family size. Third, and possibly most important, it must be affordable, which means that housing costs do not exceed the sum of housing allowances plus an additional amount the Office of the Secretary of Defense has determined a member can absorb “out of pocket.”
A periodic review of the adequacy of housing units available in a local market determines the need for allowance improvements.

Military family housing

As popular as living in the civilian community is, base housing still is the choice of many and results in long waiting lists.
Military family housing falls into two categories — adequate quarters and substandard quarters.
The Navy currently manages about 71,000 adequate family housing units worldwide, that are available to service members in lieu of the housing allowance. These quarters are normally unfurnished, with the exception of a stove and refrigerator, and all the utilities — except the telephone — are paid for by the Navy.
To give everyone consistent treatment for assignment to quarters, the Chief of Naval Operations has established the following guidelines:
  • All Navy personnel with accompanying family members and in some cases other service personnel, whether assigned afloat or ashore, are eligible to obtain housing.
  • There is to be no discrimination based on race, color, religion, age, handicap, national origin or sex.
  • No more than 25 percent of the public quarters at any installation may be designated for officers without the specific approval of the CNO.
  • Assignment shall be made to units with specific numbers of bedrooms based on either family composition or pay grade.
COs retain the authority to plan, program and determine the best use of resources so that all eligible members can compete equitably for available quarters.
The Navy manages approximately 1,200 substandard quarters, which are available to all Navy members and eligible civilians, with priority given to junior enlisted personnel.
These substandard units are similar to adequate units except that they have been declared substandard, normally because of floor space limitations. Members assigned to substandard quarters pay either the fair market rental or 75 percent of their BAQ, whichever is less. Variable Housing Allowance/Overseas Housing Allowance payments are not authorized for personnel occupying substandard quarters.
Substandard quarters are retained only as long as they can be economically maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. Members residing in substandard quarters may remain on waiting lists for adequate family housing.

Accommodations for transient families

Transient family accommodations (TFA) are substandard quarters that have been removed from the family housing inventory and are for use by accompanied personnel of all grades assigned to ships undergoing overhaul or repair.
Naval shore installations authorized to operate TFAs and the number of units at each are: Norfolk Naval Shipyard (73) and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (347).
The units are furnished and offered at minimum rental rates as approved by the Chief of Naval Personnel. Personnel taking advantage of TFAs still may draw BAQ or retain government housing at their regular home port.
U.S. Military

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