B-19735, SEPTEMBER 26, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 260

B-19735: Sep 26, 1941

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QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - ENLISTED MEN OCCUPYING DEFENSE HOUSING UNITS ON A RENTAL BASIS NAVY ENLISTED MEN WHO OCCUPY AND ARE CHARGED RENT FOR GOVERNMENT LOW COST DEFENSE HOUSING UNITS CONSTRUCTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF TITLE II OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28. ARE ENTITLED. IF THE MEN ARE OTHERWISE IN A STATUS ENTITLING THEM TO SUCH ALLOWANCE. AS FOLLOWS: THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A REQUEST FROM THE COMMANDANT. PROVISION IS MADE FOR RENTAL OF THE COMPLETED HOUSES TO ENLISTED MEN WITH FAMILIES WHO ARE IN THE NAVAL OR MILITARY SERVICE. WILL BE LEASED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT BY THE UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY. IT IS NECESSARY THAT RENTALS BE CHARGED TO THE OCCUPANTS OF SUCH HOUSES. THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSES ARE RENTED UNFURNISHED AND.

B-19735, SEPTEMBER 26, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 260

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - ENLISTED MEN OCCUPYING DEFENSE HOUSING UNITS ON A RENTAL BASIS NAVY ENLISTED MEN WHO OCCUPY AND ARE CHARGED RENT FOR GOVERNMENT LOW COST DEFENSE HOUSING UNITS CONSTRUCTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF TITLE II OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1940, AND TITLE IV, SECTION 201 OF THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, ARE ENTITLED, DURING SUCH OCCUPANCY, TO THE MONEY ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY LAW FOR QUARTERS IN LIEU OF PUBLIC QUARTERS, IF THE MEN ARE OTHERWISE IN A STATUS ENTITLING THEM TO SUCH ALLOWANCE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 14, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A REQUEST FROM THE COMMANDANT, FIFTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT, AS TO WHETHER ENLISTED MEN WHO OCCUPY LOW COST DEFENSE HOUSES LOSE THEIR RIGHT TO PAYMENT OF THE MONEY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS WHILE OCCUPYING SUCH HOUSES.

THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS CONSIST OF FOUR HUNDRED UNITS CONSTRUCTED WITH FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1940 ( PUBLIC, NO. 671),"TO EXPEDITE NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," AND ONE THOUSAND UNITS CONSTRUCTED WITH FUNDS ALLOCATED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT BY THE PRESIDENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDED IN SECTION 201, TITLE IV, OF THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 9, 1940 ( PUBLIC, NO. 781). UNDER BOTH OF THE CITED ACTS, PROVISION IS MADE FOR RENTAL OF THE COMPLETED HOUSES TO ENLISTED MEN WITH FAMILIES WHO ARE IN THE NAVAL OR MILITARY SERVICE.

THE FOUR HUNDRED UNITS CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1940, SUPRA, WILL BE LEASED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT BY THE UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY, SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR CONSTRUCTION COSTS OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. TO MEET THESE COSTS, IT IS NECESSARY THAT RENTALS BE CHARGED TO THE OCCUPANTS OF SUCH HOUSES. THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSES ARE RENTED UNFURNISHED AND, IN ADDITION, ALL UTILITIES MUST BE PAID FOR BY THE TENANTS THEREOF. FURTHERMORE, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT THE NEED FOR OCCUPANCY OF SUCH QUARTERS BY ENLISTED MEN ON A RENTAL BASIS IS DUE TO THE LACK OF OTHER ADEQUATE LIVING FACILITIES AT OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THEIR DUTY STATIONS.

IT IS THE VIEW OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT, WHILE THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSES ARE OCCUPIED BY ENLISTED MEN UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED ABOVE, THEY ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE MONEY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS AUTHORIZED BY EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER. HOWEVER, IN ORDER THAT THE COMMANDANT, FIFTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT, MAY BE IN A POSITION PROPERLY TO ADVISE THE ENLISTED MEN WHO MAY OCCUPY THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSES AS TO THEIR RENTAL ALLOWANCE RIGHTS DURING SUCH OCCUPANCY, YOUR EARLY DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER AMOUNTS PAID TO ENLISTED MEN AS QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WHILE OCCUPYING THESE LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSES WILL BE PASSED IN THE AUDIT, IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO.

TITLE II OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1940, 54 STAT. 681, 682, 683, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:

SEC. 201. IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM, THE NAVY AND WAR DEPARTMENTS AND THE UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO COOPERATE IN MAKING NECESSARY HOUSING AVAILABLE FOR PERSONS ENGAGED IN NATIONAL DEFENSE ACTIVITIES, AS HEREINAFTER PROVIDED. "PERSONS ENGAGED IN NATIONAL DEFENSE ACTIVITIES" (AS THAT TERM IS USED IN THIS TITLE) SHALL INCLUDE (1) ENLISTED MEN WITH FAMILIES, WHO ARE IN THE NAVAL AND MILITARY SERVICE (EXCLUDING OFFICERS) AND EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY AND WAR DEPARTMENTS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT NAVAL OR MILITARY RESERVATIONS, POSTS, OR BASES, AND (II) WORKERS WITH FAMILIES, WHO ARE ENGAGED OR TO BE ENGAGED IN INDUSTRIES CONNECTED WITH AND ESSENTIAL TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM. * * *

SEC. 202. (A) PROJECTS MAY BE INITIATED HEREUNDER BY THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE DWELLINGS ON OR NEAR NAVAL OR MILITARY RESERVATIONS, POSTS, OR BASES FOR RENTAL TO THE ENLISTED MEN AND EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY AND WAR DEPARTMENTS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 201. SUCH PROJECTS SHALL BE DEVELOPED BY THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT OR BY THE AUTHORITY, WHICHEVER THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES IS BETTER SUITED TO THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE WITH RESPECT TO ANY PARTICULAR PROJECT. IF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH PROJECT IS TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT, THE AUTHORITY IS AUTHORIZED TO AID THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT BY FURNISHING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND BY TRANSFERRING TO SUCH DEPARTMENT THE FUNDS NECESSARY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT. ANY PROJECT DEVELOPED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE LEASED TO THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT BY THE AUTHORITY (WHICH SHALL HAVE TITLE TO SUCH PROJECT UNTIL REPAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF TO THE AUTHORITY (WHICH SHALL HAVE TITLE TO SUCH PROJECT UNTIL REPAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF TO THE AUTHORITY AS PRESCRIBED IN SUCH LEASE) UPON SUCH TERMS AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED IN THE LEASE, WHICH MAY BE THE SAME TERMS AS ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED STATES HOUSING ACT OF 1937, AS AMENDED, WITH RESPECT TO LEASES TO PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCIES. ALL THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT WHICH APPLY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS BY THE AUTHORITY SHALL (INSOFAR AS APPLICABLE AND NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH) APPLY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS BY THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT. NOTWITHSTANDING OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS OR ANY OTHER LAW, THE DEPARTMENT LEASING A PROJECT SHALL HAVE THE SAME JURISDICTION OVER SUCH PROJECT AS IT HAS OVER THE RESERVATION, POST, OR BASE IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH THE PROJECT IS DEVELOPED.

SEC. 204. * * * THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT OR THE AUTHORITY, IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF ANY PROJECT DEVELOPED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, SHALL FIX RENTALS FOR PERSONS ENGAGED IN NATIONAL DEFENSE ACTIVITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES WHICH WILL BE WITHIN THEIR FINANCIAL REACH, AND THE AUTHORITY, IN ANY CONTRACT FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR ANY LEASE OF SUCH A PROJECT, SHALL REQUIRE THE FIXING OF SUCH RENTALS. PROJECTS DEVELOPED BY THE NAVY OR WAR DEPARTMENT, OR DEVELOPED OR ASSISTED BY THE AUTHORITY, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE ELIMINATION REQUIREMENTS OF SECTIONS 10 (A) AND 11 (A) OF SAID ACT, OR TO ANY PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF SAID ACT WHICH WOULD REQUIRE ANY PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT COST THEREOF TO BE MET IN ANY MANNER OTHER THAN FROM FUNDS LOANED OR FURNISHED BY THE AUTHORITY. * * *

TITLE II, SECTION 201 OF THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, 54 STAT. 883, PROVIDES:

SEC. 201. TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ALLOCATION TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR THE ACQUISITION OF NECESSARY LAND AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING UNITS, INCLUDING NECESSARY UTILITIES, ROADS, WALKS, AND ACCESSORIES, AT LOCATIONS ON OR NEAR MILITARY OR NAVAL ESTABLISHMENTS, NOW IN EXISTENCE OR TO BE BUILT, OR NEAR PRIVATELY OWNED INDUSTRIAL PLANTS ENGAGED IN MILITARY OR NAVAL ACTIVITIES, WHICH FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO INCLUDE ACTIVITIES OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION, WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION SHALL CERTIFY THAT SUCH HOUSING IS IMPORTANT FOR PURPOSES UNDER THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTION AND NECESSARY TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM, $100,000,000: PROVIDED, THAT THE AVERAGE UNIT COST OF SUCH HOUSING PROJECTS, INCLUDING ACQUISITIONS OF LAND AND THE INSTALLATION OF NECESSARY UTILITIES, ROADS, WALKS, ACCESSORIES, AND COLLATERAL EXPENSES SHALL NOT BE IN EXCESS OF $3,500: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY UTILIZE SUCH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE UNITED STATES AS THEY MAY DETERMINE UPON: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AT THEIR DISCRETION, ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO RENT SUCH HOUSING UNITS, UPON COMPLETION, TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS WITH FAMILIES, TO FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL ESTABLISHMENTS WITH FAMILIES, AND TO WORKERS WITH FAMILIES WHO ARE ENGAGED, OR TO BE ENGAGED, IN INDUSTRIES ESSENTIAL TO THE MILITARY AND NAVAL NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAMS, INCLUDING WORK ON SHIPS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION. THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ARE FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH RENTALS AS MAY BE COLLECTED FROM EACH HOUSING PROJECT FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE HOUSING UNITS THEREIN, INCLUDING UTILITIES, ROADS, WALKS, AND ACCESSORIES, AND TO SET UP SPECIAL RESERVE ACCOUNTS FOR THE AMORTIZATION OF THE COST OF THE PROJECT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE AUTHORITY OF EXISTING LAW FOR THE NEGOTIATION OF COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTS SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO HOUSING PROJECTS FOR WHICH FUNDS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS OR THE MARITIME COMMISSION.

IT IS DISCLOSED THAT LOW-COST DEFENSE HOUSING UNITS ARE BEING, OR HAVE BEEN, CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE ACTS AND THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER ENLISTED MEN WHO OCCUPY SUCH UNITS ON A RENTAL BASIS ARE ENTITLED TO THE MONEY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS.

THE ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 11 OF THE JOINT SERVICE PAY ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 630, IS IN LIEU OF PUBLIC QUARTERS. THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDES PUBLIC QUARTERS WITHOUT COST, NO ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS AN ALLOWANCE IN ADDITION TO AN ENLISTED MAN'S PAY TO ENABLE HIM TO PROVIDE QUARTERS FROM A SOURCE OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT. BOTH OF THE STATUTES PURSUANT TO WHICH THE HOUSES WERE BUILT AUTHORIZE THE CHARGING OF RENT FOR THEIR USE AND PROVIDE FOR THE AMORTIZATION OF THEIR COST. FROM ALL THE FACTS IN THE CASE IT APPEARS THAT INSOFAR AS THESE PARTICULAR HOUSING UNITS ARE CONCERNED THE GOVERNMENT IS ACTING AS A LANDLORD AND IF RENTAL IS PAID BY ENLISTED MEN OCCUPYING SUCH HOUSES AND THEY ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO THE MONEY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, PAYMENT TO THEM OF SUCH ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, DECISION OF NOVEMBER 15, 1940, B-13039, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.