Army Plans Investments in Housing, Child Care

Army Plans Investments in Housing, Child Care

Housing sketch
Photo by: U.S. Army

The Army is investing in military construction and improving family housing as it pushes toward its 2030 goals, a senior Army leader told lawmakers. 

“To strengthen Army readiness and build the force of the future, we must be laser-focused on providing state-of-the-art installations. We must keep moving forward,” said Rachel Jacobson, assistant Army secretary for installations, energy and environment. “That is … reflected in our budget request, [which] will improve installation and industrial base readiness as well as the quality of life for soldiers and families significantly.”

In its fiscal 2024 budget request, the Army is seeking $2.8 billion for military construction and family housing. It includes “critical investments" as the Army turns it focus to operations in the Indo-Pacific.

“I know that the Indo-Pacific Command region is a very challenging region for us because of the distance to get there, it’s quite a journey,” Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy Army chief of staff for installations, G-9, said during the March 23 hearing before the House Appropriations subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies. “What we’re trying to do from the Army standpoint is to ensure that the infrastructure that we will acquire or we will build, in most cases, gets here before we have to make any other decisions on troop placements.”

The Army is also investing in Army-owned homes in Germany and Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 

“Our housing conditions overseas, it is mostly legacy housing, it’s in dire need of improvement,” Jacobson said. “These funds are intended to, once and for all, start ... [to make] progress [on] building new homes and making substantial improvements, … starting with Germany and Kwajalein.” 

In the U.S., the Army is expanding its Family Child Care program, which offers home-based child care on post. “That is a win-win for us because it not only gives flexible hours for child care for our soldiers, … but it’s a win because our spouses are gaining employment,” Vereen said. 

Housing and installations “have a direct impact” on national security and the Army’s readiness and retention, Jacobson and Vereen told lawmakers.

“If we don’t get this right and we don’t show due diligence with a budget that can get after construction, … modernization and renovations, … our families vote with their feet, to include our soldiers,” Vereen said. “We can’t afford that with the things that are going on across the world.”