Canadian Forces Housing Agency


We live in military housing, a “Q”. This means the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) is our landlord. CFHA manages approximately 14 000 housing units on 32 military Bases across Canada. Each Base has its own office that looks after the houses on that Base.

CFHA only came into existence in 1995. Prior to that, military housing was managed by the Treasury Board and the Base Construction Engineers (CE) did the maintenance on the houses. Since 1995 CFHA has hired local contractors to do the work on PMQs. You can read all about CFHA on their website. They have a great FAQ section!

[Just to make my life more confusing, CFHA is now calling military housing RHU – residential housing units – I’m never going to get THAT through my head]

Living in a rental unit (military owned or civilian owned) can be a challenge. One way I’ve learned to deal with that challenge is to keep good records.

I have a notebook where I log all my calls to CFHA, I note the date & time of the call, to whom I spoke and I write down the details of what CFHA has promised for repairs. I also write down the date & time of the contractor’s visit, the work performed by the contractor and any other details.

I know this may seem like a lot of work BUT this also keeps the staff at CFHA on track. I can quote for them the exact date & time of the work I’ve requested so they can’t say, “You’ve never called” or “That wasn’t the problem you previously reported”. Also, I have a record of all the steps I’ve taken just in case there is ever a dispute over services.

Of course like so many other government projects, often the local civilian contractors that are hired are the lowest bidder. If they do a crappy job of repairing my Q, or they are rude or they track dirt all over the carpet and I don’t report it back to CFHA they won’t know NOT to hire that company the next time. Therefore I feel it is my responsibility to let CFHA know when I am receiving sub-standard service from their contractors and hopefully, even if they are the lowest bidder, they won’t get hired again – but  I have all sorts of fantasies…

Tell me…

Have you ever lived in military housing?
How have you dealt with CFHA?
Let’s hear the pros & cons of living on & off Base!

11 thoughts on “Canadian Forces Housing Agency

  1. just wondering if you are allowed to have border if you are renting a pmq

    1. Hi Dee,
      Thanks for your comment. I do not believe that borders are permitted in RHUs (residential housing units) but I suggest that you confirm that with the CFHA on your Base.

  2. what about if your boyfriend is with you and he is a civilian and im the soldier? are their any rules about that?

    1. Hi Jodi,
      You’ll have to discuss your situation with the relocation specialists. They will be able to provide you with information that pertains to your specific situation. There are all sorts of options you can take advantage of. It doesn’t matter too much which half of the couple is the military member or even if they are both military members. There are some special rules that apply to those who are in a permanent (married or equivalent) and non-permanent relationships.

  3. I’m an army wife on base in AB. The cfha is ridiculous to deal with here. The housing manager is rude, neglectful, uppity, and just a general pain to deal with. I also log all calls, complaints, work, repairs, and troubles that happen in my home. Even though we are renters of government homes I don’t believe we should get any less service.

    I also find that my base is not very tidy. There have been old dirty mattress left out in the front of people’s houses for months, dogs/cats and children who are running around loose. There is just an overall lack of enforcement on this base for both contractors and tenants.

    I am a mother of two toddlers with a dog and a cat. My husband and I have lived on a number of bases both as a married couple and as children (we both come from military families). This particular base that I live on in Alberta has totally changed my view on CFHA. I have never had any real issues with CFHA in the past, not as an adult or when I as a young person still living at home with my parents. But because of the CFHA here in AB I have totally lost all want or desire to be apart of my military q community.

    I have spoken to several representatives and area mangers in Ottawa, and in Alberta about the service, the cleanliness, and the general disappointment this base is. The most I got was an action plan that will be implemented to make our living area a nicer place to be. But having said that the action plan hasn’t really panned out because no situation still hasn’t changed.

    Before I moved to this military base in AB I was pro CFHA. But now with the 4 year poor experience I have had I will never live on a military base again. I will take living in town and possibly paying higher in rent/mortgage then having to deal with another Government housing agency.

    I have talked to many other q moms both stay at home and career women and I have been getting the same statements from them….It’s just sad that the consistency of bases varies from what province you live in.

    My husband was just giving word from his career manager that we will be posted and promoted this summer, so this will be our last stint with CFHA and I must say that put a smile on my face!

    1. the base in kingston is good and petawawa has alot of new pmq’s

      1. Thanks so much for responding. I’ve visited CFB Kingston but never lived there. It is good to know you’ve had some good experiences. I’ve had friends tell me that CFB Petawawa is good for housing as well.

        Thanks again for joining the conversation!

    2. WOW! Thanks for that enlightening view of CFHA of that particular Base in Alberta. It is really too bad. Fortunately not all CFHA sites are run that way. We have had good service at CFB Trenton, CFB Gagetown, CFB Valcartier as well as Downsview in Toronto. However, Downsview is now closed.

      Is there anyone else out there who has had good or bad experiences with CFHA? Share your stories here!

    1. Hey Jarryd! You most definitely are allowed to have dogs in a Q 🙂 There are however rarely fences so I would recommend a good long leash for your dog if you plan to leave him outside.

    2. You are allowed to have dogs. The number and type of dog is based on the local bylaws. Prior to you moving to a new location, you should check with CFHA and the local municipality. Some areas do not allow pit-bulls or similar type dogs. Some areas do not allow more than 2-3 dogs per dwelling and some do not allow breeding.

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