GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A plan before Congress could drive down the average age of residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Homes in Mississippi and Washington, D.C.

The homes' CEO is retired Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Rippe. He tells The Sun Herald that the population is currently 90 percent male, with an average age of 83.

Couples can only live at the home if both qualify. Residents must be at least 60 and has 20 years of active duty service, a service-related disability or service in a combat zone and are unable to earn a living. Accordingly, he says, many men wait until their wives die.

With a rent increase of 106 percent, occupancy at Gulfport is at 86 percent. The bill before congress would allow some spouses to live in the accommodations without having served in the military.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com