# 2014-160 - Accommodation, Married Quarters (MQ)

Accommodation, Married Quarters (MQ)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–02–06

The grievor was ordered to vacate the residential housing unit (RHU) she was occupying while employed on a reserve Class A period of service. The local Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) manager and the Base Commander asserted that when her employment status changed from Class B to Class A, her priority status, in terms of eligibility criteria for entitlement to a RHU, changed from a Priority 2 to a Priority 3. Consequently, an eviction order was issued for the grievor to vacate the unit at her own cost. The grievor requested the reimbursement of the moving expenses.

The Initial Authority denied the grievance stating that while there was ambiguity in the policy documents, the decision was, in his view, policy compliant.

At the time of the eviction, the grievor was serving on Class A and she was not being released from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). She was ordered out of the RHU and, as a consequence, moved her household goods and effect (HG&E) at her place of duty. The Committee concluded that the grievor was entitled to reimbursement at public expense for actual and reasonable costs associated with the move of her HG&E in accordance with the Compensation and Benefit Instructions (CBI) 208.996 (Local Move of Household Goods and Effect).

The Committee also concluded that the manner in which the local CFHA manager and the Base Commander applied the Department of National Defence (DND) living accommodation policy was in contravention of the policy articulated in the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives 5024-0.

Table 3 to the DND Living Accommodation Instruction specifies the allocation priority eligibility and criteria for each status level. Priority 1 and 2 are deemed to be members of the CAF, both Regular Force and Reserve Force, in various residential and moving statuses. Priority 3 is deemed to be “opportunity occupants” who are defined as other non-CAF members. The instruction stipulates that a Priority 3 occupant can be evicted to accommodate a Priority 1 applicant.

The Committee concluded that there is no differentiation between the various classes of Reserve service in regard to the eligibility criteria, within any of the applicable policy documents. Furthermore, there is no reference made at Table 3 of the Instruction, implied or otherwise, that Reservists of any class are included in the description of a Priority 3 “opportunity occupant” as this priority level is clearly defined as non-CAF members. The Committee determined that the grievor had not been treated fairly and in accordance with the applicable policy.

The Instruction is further amplified by the Manual of Instruction and Guidance (MIG), which stipulates that a Reservist applicant must be able to demonstrate a minimum 6-month plus 1-day period of employment with a minimum 37.5 hours of work per week in order to maintain their priority status. The Committee determined that the grievor had been employed for more than 6-month plus 1-day in the 12 month preceding the eviction, and had done so every year for the six years preceding.

The Committee concluded that given the wording of the existing and applicable policies, she could not have been deemed to be a Priority 3 “Opportunity applicant”, and that her eviction from the RHU was not reasonable.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff uphold this grievance and grant the grievor the reimbursement of actual and reasonable costs associated with the move of her HG&E.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation to uphold the grievance and that the grievor be reimbursed for all reasonable costs associated with the move of her HG&E, as authorised in CBI 208.996, as a result of her eviction from RHU. The CDS also asked CMP to review DAOD 5024-0 and the Instruction and ensured that DND living accommodation policy is well understood by all stakeholders.

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