House Approves New Site for DHS

The House voted Monday to establish a permanent home for the Department of Homeland Security (search), the agency created after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Under the legislation, approved by voice vote, the department would take over the Nebraska Avenue Naval Complex (search) that it has used as its temporary headquarters since it started operations in March 2003.

District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said the complex, in northwest Washington near American University, comprises 38 acres in 33 mostly unconnected buildings. She said the department ultimately plans to have nearly 2,000 personnel on the site.

The Congressional Budget Office (search) has estimated that the one-year cost of relocating Navy activities on the complex will be $26 million, and that it will cost $75 million to renovate the complex over the next five years to meet Department of Homeland Security needs.

The department, headed by Secretary Tom Ridge, consolidated 22 security-related agencies under one roof.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.