# 2016-186 - House Hunting Trip (HHT)

House Hunting Trip (HHT)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017–04–07

The grievor complained that he was wrongly denied an authorization for a reimbursement of house hunting trip (HHT) benefits by Brookfield Global Relocation Services and by the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA), based on the fact that he was a single CAF member and was already at his new place of duty.

The initial authority (IA), the Director General Compensation and Benefits, recognized the grievor's entitlement to conduct an HHT, and also found that the grievor was entitled to a kilometric allowance for the use of his private motor vehicle during his HHT. However, the IA noted that the grievor's living arrangement at destination was at a relative's residence where he stayed for approximately 10 months. Therefore, the IA concluded that the grievor “normally resided” with this relative and was not entitled to the non-commercial lodging and meal allowances. In addition, the IA also concluded that the grievor was not on travel status and, as such, was not entitled to incidentals.

The Committee agreed with the IA that since the grievor had not yet secured accommodations at his new place of duty, he remained eligible for an HHT. As such, the Committee considered the grievor's eligibility to HHT related benefits. The Committee noted that it had considered the term “normally resident” in a number of previous grievance files and reiterated that it should not be interpreted in a restrictive manner; many factors should be considered in its determination. The Committee found that the grievor's living arrangement with his relative was temporary in nature as he had requested an HHT shortly after arriving at destination and selling his home at origin. The Committee noted that the grievor's temporary stay was prolonged by the denial of his HHT request.

Finally, the Committee concluded that the grievor was not “normally resident” at his relative's home and that he was therefore entitled to non-commercial lodging and meal allowances for his HHT, as well as incidentals.

The Committee recommended that the grievor be reimbursed his full HHT benefits as per the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program.

FA Decision Summary

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievor was eligible for an HHT and that it was due to exceptional circumstances that the timing of when he was able to take it was not optimal. The FA also agreed that the grievor's prudent decision to live with his relative during the lengthy wait times for BGRS and DCBA adjudications did not constitute becoming normally resident with his relative. As he was entitled to the HHT and was staying in non-commercial lodging, the FA concluded, like the Committee, that the grievor was entitled to the mileage already paid, to the non-commercial lodging allowance, and to meals and incidentals for the five-day period.

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