Defense Housing:

Difficulties Associated With Managing an Aging Family Housing Inventory

NSIAD-92-9FS: Published: Nov 12, 1991. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the government's inventory of military family housing, focusing on the: (1) age of those housing units; and (2) relative costs to renovate or replace them.

GAO found that the Department of Defense: (1) fiscal year 1992 inventory states that 72 percent of the 400,000 military family housing units are at least 26 years old; (2) anticipates the replacement value of the 400,000 units to exceed $39 billion; (3) estimated that almost 200,000 of these units would require about $11 billion in renovation costs over the next decade; (4) anticipates the average renovation cost per dwelling to be about $56,000, excluding minor maintenance and repair costs, which could add an additional $3.4 billion to the overall bill; (5) stated that any cost reductions resulting from the April 1991 base realignments and closures would probably be offset by increases in costs for additional needed renovation work identified during more in-depth inspections; and (6) believes that it would be more cost-effective to renovate the existing units, as opposed to performing minor repairs when needed, since such renovations could extend the useful life of these units another 25 years, cost significantly less than replacing them with new units, and reduce operating costs.

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