What Kind of House Will I Get?

Note, this is an exaggeration! NOT something you'll ever get in your Foreign Service career!

When the State Department sends you overseas to work, the U.S. Government will provide housing to you free of charge.  The size of your residence will depend on your rank and family size.

Since most people reading this will be just starting out, I’m going to focus on sizing for “Standard” rank officers, as opposed to “Middle” and “Executive” rank officers.

NOTE: The State Department will accommodate ALL your direct dependents and will not discriminate your housing assignment based on family size.  Married with seven kids and a dog?  No worries, the Department is obligated to accommodate your spouse and kids, although Fido will have to squeeze in somehow.

The official regulation for allocating residential space is called 15 FAM 230: ALLOCATING RESIDENTIAL SPACE (PDF file).

Below are space standards for “Standard” rank officers in three different localities as defined in 15 FAM 230, above.

Locality 1 (e.g. Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Brussels)

Family Size 1-2 3-4 5-6 7+
Square Feet 1168 1700 1976 2103

Locality 2 (e.g. Nassau, Sarajevo, Sao Paulo)

Family Size 1-2 3-4 5-6 7+
Square Feet 1286 1870 2174 2314

Locality 3 (e.g. Phnom Penh, Kinshasa, New Delhi)

Family Size 1-2 3-4 5-6 7+
Square Feet 1414 2057 2391 2546

This policy was intended to ensure officers have adequate residences for the care of their families and not necessarily an incentive to encourage people to have more children!


One Response to What Kind of House Will I Get?

  1. Robin says:

    please note…these measurements are MAXIMUMS…not minimums!

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