Housing units in military bases across Canada are in dire need of refurbishing and updating right away as most of these have been built over 50 years ago, a federal official said.
According to a report by Auditor General Michael Ferguson released on Tuesday (February 2), the Canadian Forces Housing Agency needs to draft and implement a modernization plan backed by appropriate funding as soon as possible.
Ferguson said that the main problem is that the relevant authorities have not updated the accommodation policy in nearly nine years, making it unclear as to who exactly would receive housing, what type of homes would be made, and where these would be situated.
A majority of the 12,000 military homes scattered across 25 locations has been constructed between 1948 and 1960, housing approximately 15 per cent of Canada’s armed forces.
A lack of urgency and analysis on the part of the defence department, along with software bugs that have plagued a national database, have made it difficult for the government to make the necessary changes to the management of military housing, Ferguson said in the report.
In addition, the required construction has been scattershot since the distribution of the $37-million-per-annum capital funding does not match the renovation cycle. This delay has stymied efforts to devise a strategy for refurbishing old homes, the report said.
“Without an adequate and approved long-term plan, the agency cannot ensure that the funds spend on housing units were used effectively to better meet current and future housing needs,” Ferguson stated in the report, as quoted by the Toronto Star