Perry Approves New Standard for Single Soldier Housing
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 1995 Responding to requests for more living space and privacy, DoD will soon begin replacing barracks rooms with mini apartments, according to Pentagon officials.
Defense Secretary William J. Perry recently approved a construction standard for junior enlisted, single housing at permanent duty stations. Two service members will share an efficiency apartment with two 118-foot square living/sleeping rooms, closets, a bathroom and a kitchenette, officials said.
He also approved standards for building size based on the number of apartments. The new standard does not affect barracks for service members in basic training.
The need for more living space and privacy topped the list of service members' concerns on recent quality of life surveys, officials said, causing DoD to explore ways to improve housing.
The new standard, called 1 plus 1, replaces the 2 plus 2 rule set in 1983, which provided for a two-room suite for four people with a shared bath. While 1 plus 1 will be more costly, officials said, the investment will pay off in higher retention rates and lower recruitment and training costs, and will boost morale and productivity."
Transforming old barracks to meet the new apartment-style standard will not happen overnight, however, officials said. But the services have made a commitment to upgrade barracks quality and adopt the new standards beginning with fiscal 1996 construction, officials said.
During the next 20 years, DoD's plans call for increasing the number of enlisted personnel in the four lowest grades living in private rooms from about 50,000 to about 275,000. The number of people living in barracks with central lavatories will drop from about 116,000 to less than 1,000. Rooms with three or more people will drop from more than 123,000 to about 30,000.