A new solution for historic Vietnam War era housing on Army installations

By U.S. Army Public AffairsApril 6, 2023

A sample of Vietnam War era housing from Fort Benning, Georgia, circa 1975.
A sample of Vietnam War era housing from Fort Benning, Georgia, circa 1975. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON – On March 17, 2023, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation approved the Program Comment for Army Vietnam War Era Historic Housing, Associated Buildings and Structures, and Landscape Features (1963-1975), which establishes an innovative approach to solving critical housing issues by balancing historic preservation with the needs of military families and housing managers.

“The program comment carefully balances the quality of life, health and safety of military families with the preservation of historic Army Vietnam War era housing” said Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment. “As is the case with our Inter-War era housing, we are grateful to the ACHP for helping the Army meet the important objectives of preserving the historic integrity of our housing while allowing cost effective renovations to go forward.”

With over 30,000 historic homes, the U.S. Army has the largest inventory of historic housing in the federal government and a unique challenge among federal agencies. Historic housing is a significant concern; it is a large and increasing part of the Army’s total housing inventory, it is critical to the readiness mission and well-being of thousands of Soldiers and their families, and it requires extensive financial resources and process time for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for any action that affects historic housing.

The program comment streamlines improvements to Army Vietnam War era housing conditions, which will enhance the quality of life for Soldiers and their families; allow the use of modern, cost-effective, industry-standard and climate-resilient building materials; and ensure more consistent, efficient and effective management and preservation of historic housing. It is a holistic approach to the management of thousands of recurring actions for this large inventory of more than 7,800 modern historic homes built during the Vietnam War era.

“ACHP members support the Army’s intent to streamline the Section 106 review process while protecting and maintaining this type of historic housing, ensuring it can continue to serve our nation’s Soldiers and their families” said Sara Bronin, chairman of the ACHP.

“The Program Comment for Vietnam War Era Housing is designed for the 21st century and meets the spirit and intent of the National Historic Preservation Act,” said Dr. David Guldenzopf, Army federal preservation officer.

Additional information on the program comment can be found at https://www.denix.osd.mil/army-vwehh-pc/ and https://www.achp.gov/news/achp-members-approve-department-army-program-comment.