B-44099, SEPTEMBER 12, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 220

B-44099: Sep 12, 1944

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RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED QUARTERS TO NAVAL PERSONNEL - DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION HOUSING INASMUCH AS FUNDS FOR THE CAPITALIZATION OF THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION ULTIMATELY WERE DERIVED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 14. RESPECTING ELIGIBILITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF HOUSING ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT THERETO ARE APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF HOUSING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE CORPORATION. " WHICH PROVISION IS APPLICABLE TO HOUSING ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED BY THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION. OCCUPYING ON A RENTAL BASIS HOUSING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE CORPORATION ARE NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER NAVAL PERSONNEL LEGALLY ARE AUTHORIZED TO OCCUPY.

B-44099, SEPTEMBER 12, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 220

RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED QUARTERS TO NAVAL PERSONNEL - DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION HOUSING INASMUCH AS FUNDS FOR THE CAPITALIZATION OF THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION ULTIMATELY WERE DERIVED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 14, 1940, FOR THE ACQUISITION AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE PURPOSES, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED, RESPECTING ELIGIBILITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF HOUSING ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT THERETO ARE APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF HOUSING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE CORPORATION, AND, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT, AS AMENDED, NAVY OFFICERS NOT ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE, AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY MAY OCCUPY SUCH HOUSING ON A RENTAL BASIS AND BE ENTITLED TO RENTAL OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCE. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF OCTOBER 14, 1940, AS AMENDED, LIMITING OCCUPANCY BY NAVY OFFICERS OF HOUSING ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT TO THE ACT TO "* * * OFFICERS * * * NOT ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE," WHICH PROVISION IS APPLICABLE TO HOUSING ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED BY THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION, NAVY OFFICERS ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE, OCCUPYING ON A RENTAL BASIS HOUSING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE CORPORATION ARE NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 23, 1944 (REFERENCE JAG:II:RFM:AMP), TRANSMITTING A LETTER DATED AUGUST 16, 1944, FROM LIEUTENANT COMMANDER RONALD J. CHINNOCK, USNR, SENIOR MEMBER, NAVY HOUSING BOARD, AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER NAVAL PERSONNEL LEGALLY ARE AUTHORIZED TO OCCUPY, ON A RENTAL BASIS, DEFENSE HOUSES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION.

THE LETTER FROM LIEUTENANT COMMANDER CHINNOCK IS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION IS A CORPORATION ORGANIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND FINANCING OF HOUSING DEEMED NECESSARY FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE. THE TOTAL AUTHORIZED STOCK OF THE CORPORATION IS OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

2. THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION HAS CONSTRUCTED AND IS OPERATING SEVERAL FAMILY DWELLING HOUSING PROJECTS IN WASHINGTON AND VICINITY. NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE OCCUPYING SUCH HOUSING ON A RENTAL BASIS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, WITHOUT LOSS OF RENTAL OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCES. * * * * * * * *

(A) CAN NAVAL PERSONNEL, REGARDLESS OF RATING OR RANK, OCCUPY DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION HOUSING ON A RENTAL BASIS?

(B) IN THE EVENT OF SUCH OCCUPANCY ON A RENTAL BASIS AT THE INDIVIDUAL'S OWN EXPENSE, CAN RENTAL OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCE CONTINUE TO BE PAID THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED?

THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION WAS ORGANIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND FINANCING OF HOUSING DEEMED NECESSARY FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE PURSUANT TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 18, 1940, FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, ALLOCATING TO THE FEDERAL LOAN ADMINISTRATOR THE SUM OF $10,000,000 FROM THE PRESIDENT'S EMERGENCY FUND CONTAINED IN THE MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, 54 STAT. 377, AND THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, 54 STAT. 297, FOR THE PURCHASE OF ALL OF THE CAPITAL STOCK OF SUCH CORPORATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE UNITED STATES. THE PRESIDENT'S EMERGENCY FUND SUBSEQUENTLY WAS REIMBURSED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE LANHAM ACT, APPROVED OCTOBER 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 1126, PURSUANT TO SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 3 OF THE SAID ACT.

THE CORPORATION ORIGINALLY WAS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE FEDERAL LOAN ADMINISTRATOR BUT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9070, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1942, IT WAS PLACED UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC HOUSING COMMISSIONER UNDER THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATOR. THE TOTAL AUTHORIZED CAPITAL STOCK OF THE SAID CORPORATION--- ISSUED INITIALLY TO THE FEDERAL LOAN ADMINISTRATOR--- WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE NATIONAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATOR.

FROM THE FOREGOING IT IS APPARENT THAT HOUSING PROJECTS ACQUIRED OR CONSTRUCTED BY THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION ARE GOVERNMENT-OWNED, OR AT LEAST, GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED PROPERTY. AND IN THAT CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT IT LONG HAS BEEN SETTLED THAT THE STATUTES AUTHORIZING QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AND RENTAL ALLOWANCE TO NAVAL AND MILITARY PERSONNEL DO NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOWANCES WHERE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED QUARTERS OR HOUSES ARE OCCUPIED, EXCEPT WHERE SUCH OCCUPANCY ON A RENTAL BASIS SPECIFICALLY IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. 23 COMP. GEN. 346, 349.

THE FUNDS FOR THE CAPITALIZATION OF THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION ULTIMATELY WERE DERIVED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE LANHAM ACT, SUPRA. AND WHILE THE VARIOUS LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN THE LATTER ACT RESPECTING THE COST, LOCATION, ETC., OF HOUSING AUTHORIZED TO BE CONSTRUCTED THEREUNDER ARE NOT CONTAINED IN THE CHARTER OF THE SAID CORPORATION, THE PRIMARY PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE CORPORATION WAS FORMED, IN SUBSTANCE, IS IDENTICAL WITH THE PURPOSE SOUGHT TO BE ACHIEVED UNDER THE SAID ACT; THAT IS, THE ACQUISITION AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE PURPOSES. THEREFORE, THE INFERENCE OR INTENT APPEARS TO BE CLEAR THAT HOUSES CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE CORPORATION CHARTER ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL TO THE SAME CLASS OF PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO RENT DWELLINGS CONSTRUCTED FOR THE SAME PRIMARY PURPOSE UNDER THE SAID LANHAM ACT, AND, INSOFAR AS OFFICER AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL ARE CONCERNED, UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS.

THE LANHAM ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 21, 1942, 56 STAT. 11, AUTHORIZES RENTAL OF HOUSES ACQUIRED THEREUNDER TO "PERSONS ENGAGED IN NATIONAL-DEFENSE ACTIVITIES" AND SUCH PERSONS EXPRESSLY ARE DEFINED THEREIN AS INCLUDING "ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVAL OR MILITARY SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES" AND "OFFICERS OF THE ARMY AND MARINE CORPS NOT ABOVE THE GRADE OF CAPTAIN, AND OFFICERS OF THE NAVY AND COAST GUARD, NOT ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE, ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT NAVAL OR MILITARY RESERVATIONS, POSTS, OR BASES, OR TO DUTY AT DEFENSE INDUSTRIES.'

IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THE ACTS OF JUNE 28, 1940, 54 STAT. 676, 681, AND SEPTEMBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 872, 883, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1942, 56 STAT. 988, AUTHORIZE THE RENTAL OF HOUSES ACQUIRED UNDER THE AUTHORITY THEREOF TO SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME CLASSES OF PERSONS SPECIFIED IN THE SAID LANHAM ACT, AS AMENDED, AND BY THE TERMS OF THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9070, GENERAL SUPERVISION OVER DEFENSE HOUSING ACQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAST-MENTIONED ACTS (EXCEPTING HOUSING LOCATED ON MILITARY OR NAVAL RESERVATIONS, POSTS, OR BASES) AND THE LANHAM ACT, AS WELL AS OVER THE HOUSING ACQUIRED BY THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION, WAS VESTED IN THE NATIONAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATOR. HENCE, IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT A UNIFORM POLICY IS CONTEMPLATED WITH RESPECT TO THE CLASSES OF PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO RENT SUCH DEFENSE HOUSES.

ACCORDINGLY, IN ANSWER TO QUESTIONS (A) AND (B) ABOVE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT OFFICERS, NOT ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE, AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY MAY OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS, HOUSES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEFENSE HOMES CORPORATION, AND PAYMENT OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE OR RENTAL ALLOWANCE IF OTHERWISE PROPER MAY BE MADE TO SUCH NAVAL PERSONNEL WHILE SO OCCUPYING SUCH HOUSES; BUT SINCE, AS HEREINBEFORE SHOWN, OFFICERS ABOVE THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT, SENIOR GRADE, ARE INELIGIBLE TO OCCUPY SUCH HOUSES ON A RENTAL BASIS, ANY SUCH OFFICER SO OCCUPYING THE HOUSES WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE. SEE 23 COMP. GEN. 256.