Washington (G N S)
More than 750 military families connected with Sampson Air Force Base live in quarters which "might be considered physically undesirable," according to a report Monday to Rep. Kenneth B. Keating (R-NY) Rochester.
Seventy-five families were living in trailers when the check was made.
Keating's office got the report as Maj. Gen. Joe W. Kelly, director of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Service, notified the congressman it has moved to provide 500 Wherry housing units for Sampson.
Kelly wrote Keating that Air Force Secretary Harold E. Talbott has "made the determination of a definite requirement for Wherry housing at Sampson Air Force base."
Under the Wherry Housing Act, private contractors are guaranteed that a military installation will be permanent (at least 30 years). Private interests then provide all financing and construction.
Sampson's contracting office will ask for bids for the 500 units, Kelly told Keating, in about 30 days after a "current appraisal and eligibility" statement is issued by the Buffalo insuring office of Federal Housing Administration.
Kelly revealed that an FHA study made last spring at Sampson showed that 200 of the 390 housing units on the base "are of barracks type and considered undesirable." They will eventually be salvaged when better quarters are provided, according to Kelly.
Sampson, one of two Air Force basic training stations, has been designated as "permanent," according to the report. It said the base had a permanent complement of 500 officers and 5,000 airmen. It had 14,000 trainees when the check was made.
There were 1,337 military families living within a 50-mile radius off-base, 390 families on-base, and 254 elsewhere in the United States.
"Within a 10-mile radius only 194 families can find accommodations," said the survey. "Seventy-five families are living in their own trailers in trailer parks."
There were 360 families living within a 20-mile radius.
Only 247 of the 1,337 military families then living off base occupied one-family dwellings. The other 1,090, the FHA said, were living in "conventional apartments, conversions, trailers, rooms and other forms of living quarters."
"Perhaps over 50 percent of these might be considered physically undesirable," the report said.