DND housing, annual adjustments explained by CF Housing Agency

DND housing,  annual adjustments explained by CF Housing Agency

DND housing, annual adjustments explained by CF Housing Agency

Regardless of whether a Canadian Armed Forces member lives in private-sector or DND housing, rental adjustments are a routine annual process.

In December of 2015, occupants of DND housing received their yearly letter from the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) detailing their rent adjustment for fiscal year 2016.

CFHA is part of the Department of National Defence’s Infrastructure and Environment family (ADM(IE)) and has been managing the housing portfolio for almost 20 years. DND recognizes the importance to members of having suitable housing; it contributes to a better quality of life and to the well-being of CAF members and their families. This vision is top of mind for CFHA in its management of over 12,000 military housing units across 25 sites, and as it applies Government of Canada housing policies and departmental regulations.

Government of Canada housing policy stipulates that Crown-owned housing must reflect local market rental values for homes of a similar size, style, condition and age. For CAF members opting to live in Crown-owned housing, this means that they are provided with a housing unit at a rental cost similar to what other private-sector renters living in similar housing units in their neighborhood would pay.

To provide for a fair and consistent approach to this policy, CFHA must also utilize an annual rent adjustment process. Under this process, CFHA determines whether the rents charged for Crown-owned housing must be changed to reflect fluctuations in the local rental market. Under this system, all occupants of DND housing are subject to an adjustment process every year at the same time.

DND, like other government departments, applies the Statistics Canada Consumer Price Index (CPI) to its residential portfolio in order to determine the annual housing rent adjustments. This year’s adjustment is an average 1% increase across the portfolio and still reflects the local market value in every region across the country.

That being said, under the Queen’s Regulations and Orders, Volume IV, Appendix 4.1 rents (not including parking costs and utilities) cannot exceed 25% of the combined gross household income for all families living in Defence housing. More information about this benefit is available to members on DND’s website and existing occupants can contact their local Housing Service Center for more information.

 Another policy requires new rental rates to take effect on 1 April. This timing is in keeping with federal government business cycles. In accordance with policy and regulations, CFHA must give occupants 90 days’ notice, which explains why letters are sent out in December of every year.

 Military housing is an important part of the daily lives of our men and women in uniform and their families.  

DND has invested over $405 million in improvements to the portfolio over the past five years with projects ranging from minor work like furnace replacement to whole-house renovations which can include new kitchens and bathrooms. More specifically in Esquimalt, where approximately 17% of CAF members opt to live on Base, work included the replacement of exterior doors, windows, roofs, heating and ventilation systems as well as whole-house renovations.

The department, through CFHA, is committed to improving the portfolio on a continuous basis and ensuring that CAF members and their families are provided with housing that meets the needs of today and the future.

For more information on DND housing and rent adjustments, consult: forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-support-services-housing/index.page. Members and their families can also contact their local Housing Services Centre for additional information.  

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