DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HOUSING POLICIES

Publication

Description

AIR FORCE HOUSING POLICIES

Air Force Instruction (AFI) 32-6000, Housing Management

This regulation gives preference to Airmen with familial status and discriminates against those without familial status.  Both discrimination and preference based on familial status are prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.  Therefore, this regulation constitutes an unlawful order by Lieutenant General Warren D. Berry.

  • Paragraph 1.2.27.39 states “Ensure unaccompanied housing assignments are being accomplished without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation (except to provide privacy between members or to avoid adjoining room assignment to opposite gender).”  Note that this paragraph includes all of the protected classes listed in the Fair Housing Act except familial status.  And since this paragraph is specific to unaccompanied housing (which is almost exclusively occupied by service members who do not have familial status), it is interesting that familial status is excluded here, but included in paragraph 3.1.

  • Paragraph 3.1 states "DoD and the Air Force are committed to equal opportunity and treatment for all DoD personnel seeking housing, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or familial status..."  Subparagraph 3.1.2 goes on to say "DoD personnel are entitled to an equal opportunity to reside in housing free from discriminatory practices."  Note that these excerpts are not specific to service members "with" or "without" familial status.  This guidance is saying that ALL personnel are entitled to equal opportunity.  Ironically, this publication goes on to prescribe exactly how to both discriminate and give preference based on familial status.

  • Paragraph 3.2.4 gives Airmen with familial status the option to live off base and start building home equity.

  • Paragraph 4.8.1 states "The DoD premise is each dependent (exclusive of spouse), is assigned a bedroom..."  In the vast majority of cases, a "dependent, exclusive of spouse" is a child under the age of 18, which means that this paragraph is speaking to whether or not the member has familial status.  Furthermore, paragraph 4.9 states "Determine appropriate bedroom entitlement based on the member’s grade and family composition (Attachment 2, Table A2.2 and A2.3). Use the table that provides the most bedrooms..."  These paragraphs give preference to members with familial status, and the more children a member has, the more preference for a bigger house he or she gets.  (And yes... I understand that a bigger family needs a bigger house.  That does not make it legal to give preference based on familial status.)

  • Paragraph 6.9.1.1 defines the term "target tenant" as "members eligible for housing allowance at the with-dependent rate" (paraphrased).  This means that members who are single and have familial status are "target tenants", but their peers without familial status are not "target tenants".  Then paragraph 6.12 gives “first priority to target tenants".  Simply stated, this guidance gives preference to members with familial status, and that is illegal.

  • Paragraph 6.13.3 states "Target Tenants will pay rent in arrears, and rent will equal the amount of the housing allowance rate received by the military member, less the utility allowance."  Paragraph 6.13.4 states "Key and essential personnel who are single or unaccompanied must pay rent based on the without-dependents housing allowance rate."  In other words, Target Tenants (such as members with familial status) are required to pay higher rent for the same housing than a member who is single without familial status.  Charging different rates based on whether or not a tenant has familial status is illegal.

  • Paragraph 7.7.2.1 requires single Airmen without familial status to live in the dorms for the first three years of their careers.  This prevents them from building home equity, which severely limits their wealth-building potential over the course of their career.  This limitation does not apply to Airmen with familial status.

  • Taken together, paragraphs 7.7.2.1 and 10.2.1 prevent Airmen without dependents living in the dorms from receiving a housing allowance.  However, paragraph 2.11.1 states "A member may occupy unaccompanied housing... and still be eligible to receive housing allowance at the with-dependent rate if the member is unaccompanied and family members are not residing in adequate government housing."  This guidance allows a member with familial status to occupy unaccompanied housing (for free) and still receive housing allowance, even if the family members live with relatives or friends at no cost.  In other words, a member with familial status can collect thousands of dollars of housing allowance each month even when he or she incurs ZERO housing expenses.  I actually had a supervisor (Senior Master Sergeant, E-8) who pursued this option.  So yes, it DOES happen.​

ARMY HOUSING POLICIES

Publication

Description

NAVY HOUSING POLICIES

Publication

Description

MARINE CORPS HOUSING POLICIES

Publication

Description

SITE SELECTION

Not only is there discrimination in regards to the type of housing, site-selection is also obviously different.  Family housing is typically much farther from noisy environments such as airfields and train tracks.  Examples of this include Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and Dyess AFB, Texas.  At both installations, dorms are just half a mile from the airfield environment.  Family housing is triple the distance.  Elmendorf has fighter aircraft.  Dyess has B-1 bombers; one of the loudest aircraft in the Air Force inventory.  In the civilian world, neighborhoods that are close to noisy environments are usually low-income housing areas.  So it’s actually appropriate that we put single members in these areas, because members without dependents receive significantly less income.  See the Entitlements page for details.