Army Housing Could See Boost in 2020 Budget
The Army is asking for $2.3 billion in fiscal 2020 as it continues to work on providing soldiers and their families with the best possible living conditions, the Army’s top installation management officer said.
The $2.3 billion is part of the Army’s $182 billion 2020 budget request, and it includes money for military construction to fund various installation priorities, such as improving conditions and soldier and family readiness, said Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, Army assistant chief of staff for installation management.
“Predictable, adequate, sustained and timely funding for installations enables all aspects of warfighting readiness—our top priority,” Bingham said in written testimony to the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies.
Of the overall budget, $358 million is expected to sustain all family housing operations, such as covering utility costs, proper maintenance, and repair of government family housing units. An additional $141 million is requested for family housing construction, which includes funds to improve or replace poor and failing housing in Baumholder, Germany, and Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.
The funding would complement ongoing Army efforts to ensure soldiers and their families have safe, quality housing following numerous complaints of serious maintenance problems—including mold and pest infestations and chipping lead paint—in privatized military housing. The complaints drew the ire of Congress, and senior Army leaders have called for investigations, town hall meetings and inspections across all Army installations.
The Army is focusing its efforts and resources on the priorities of readiness, modernization and reform, Bingham said.
“We've done a great job across the Army infrastructure to be able to improve the condition … whether it's in poor failing condition or trying to sustain it in good and adequate condition,” Bingham told the committee.