Letter to CEO CFHA: visit to CFB Kingston

29 March 2018


Mr. David Thompson
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Forces Housing Agency
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0K2


Dear Mr. Thompson:

I am writing to follow up on my visit to Canadian Forces Base Kingston from 19-22 February 2018. During this visit, my staff and I met with military personnel, military family members, DND civilian employees, and Non-Public Funds / Personnel Support Program employees. The feedback that we received during these engagements helped to provide a picture of what is working well on the base and which areas have room for improvement.

I am pleased to report that relatively few complaints were raised regarding housing in Kingston. A couple of general housing-related suggestions were brought to my attention and I have included them below for your consideration:

Housing Priority

Our Office is aware that one of the primary sources of stress during a CAF family’s relocation is securing housing at the new posting location and DND housing is typically in high demand.

As you know, the CFHA identifies Priority 1 applicants as “CAF members (regular or reserve) or foreign military/exchange personnel who are posted to a new location and are authorized to move at public expense”. During my visit, it was suggested that the Priority 1 category be broken down further to prioritize CAF families who are posted on short notice. This would give priority to families who had to secure housing with little warning to subsequently do a local move into a CFHA residential housing unit.


My team also received a suggestion regarding fencing on DND housing unit lots. Article 12(g) of the CFHA Occupant Handbook specifies that fencing can be erected on a DND housing unit lot with the approval of the Housing Services Centre and that it must meet CFHA conditions and standards. The handbook notes that occupants “will need to remove all structures and restore the grounds to their original condition” at their own expense when they move out.

My team was informed that families with children and pets often desire a fenced lot to provide a safe play area, but that this can involve expenses and time requirements that they cannot afford immediately after a relocation. It was suggested that occupants be permitted to leave existing fencing upon move out in order to facilitate CAF families’ posting.

Given the potential positive impact of these recommendations on CAF families’ relocation experience, I am sharing the suggestions for your consideration of their feasibility. I am available should you wish to discuss any of these matters further. I am a firm believer that collaboration and sharing best practices leads to long-lasting positive changes for the Defence community.



Gary WalbourneOmbudsman


c.c.:    Colonel J.G.P. Lemyre
Commander, Canadian Forces Base Kingston


Janet Lang
Manager, Housing Services Centre
Canadian Forces Housing Agency Kingston

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