Matheson Supports Improvements for Military Housing
Washington DC-Congressman Jim Matheson Wednesday expressed disappointment that he and other supporters of expanding a program to improve military housing lost by one vote-212-211-- in the U.S. House of Representatives. The effort failed during a procedural vote during consideration of the FY '05 Military Construction appropriations measure.
"I think the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is a great example of how we can assist military service families, while partnering with the private sector," said Matheson. "Now that the program has hit its spending limit, I think we should help the troops and private businesses by expanding it."
Matheson said he supported a provision to expand the housing program by $500 million. Without the expansion, the program is expected to exhaust its current $850 million spending limit by November, which would delay new housing for 50,000 military families.
Matheson said that since Congress granted the Department of Defense the authority to enter into "public-private partnerships", contracts have been awarded by the various military services to create or refurbish more than 61,000 military family housing units.
"At a time when soldiers are fighting a war overseas, we should be able to reassure them that their families are adequately sheltered here at home," said Matheson.