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On March 31, 2022, at a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced the implementation of a uniform code of basic housing standards to regulate safety, comfort and habitability of DoD government-owned family housing built on the International Code Council's International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).
"The department is committed to ensuring military members and families who choose to reside in MHPI housing have safe, quality homes and a positive living experience," said Patricia Coury, deputy assistant secretary of defense for housing.
The announcement follows the approval of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in December 2019 and the 2021 NDAA in January 2021. The Acts collectively require DoD to establish and implement a unified code based on a consensus-based, model property maintenance code for privatized military housing, government-owned and government-controlled housing located inside or outside the United States. DoD is now working to complete assessments of all privatized and DoD government-owned family housing units using this standard.
The IPMC regulates maintenance requirements for existing buildings and establishes minimum standards for equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation, and fire safety. The IPMC is currently adopted or in use in 40 states and more than 1,000 jurisdictions. Housing inspectors can demonstrate understanding of the IPMC's requirements through an IPMC-specific certification. The establishment and implementation of housing codes at DoD facilities is part of a broader effort to improve the quality of military housing to ensure that service members and their families are afforded access to well-built, well-maintained, homes.
"The Code Council recognizes the importance and privilege of contributing towards the safety of our servicemen and women in the places where they live and work," said Code Council Chief Executive Dominic Sims, CBO. "We commend Congress for its work to ensure quality housing for military families and DoD for its efforts to develop a uniform housing code. As the Department begins implementing its new code, the expertise of third-party inspectors is critical so that the code's benefits are carried forward in the field. The Code Council will be partnering with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure inspectors — and others charged with protecting housing quality for service members and their families — are well-trained."