Sgt. Michael J. Carden, American Forces Press Service
D.C ó Housing allowances for military members will go up an
average of 6.9 percent in 2009, Defense Department officials
protected against foreclosures
private housing is affected by the economic downturn have
protection if their landlord goes into foreclosure.
Fort Mc-Coy Directorate of Public Works Family Housing manager,
said a provision was approved and added to the Joint Federal
Travel Regulations (JFTR) that allows servicemembers to make a
local move with household goods at government expense if the
dwelling they are renting/leasing is in foreclosure. The new
provision does not cover servicemembersí expenses if they are
the party in foreclosure.
service- members some protections and monetary relief against
the additional expenses of moving if they cannot remain in a
dwelling because their landlord had to go into
foreclosure," Oslie said.
After the move is
completed, servicemembers will receive the basic allowance of
housing rate that is in effect in the locality they are moving
to for their particular rank and dependent status (see
accompanying story), she said.
The change was
effective in July 2008. Service- members taking advantage of the
change must adhere to all the guidance and restrictions that are
in place for local, short-distance moves. These include weight
limitations within prescribed allowances.
are encouraged to use all remedies available to them, such as
the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 USC, App 531) and state
laws, before using the new JFTR provision.
must apply for the foreclosure local move orders through the
Family Housing office. Any questions can be directed to Oslie at
increase comes to an average of about $95 a month across the board for
the 950,000 servicemembers expected to draw basic allowance for
housing, or BAH, in 2009.
servicemembers will not see any increase at all, and others will see
less than the average increase, Susan A. Brumbaugh director of the
Defense Departmentís BAH program, said in a Pentagon Channel
did see some decreases in some areas for some pay grades," she
said, "(but) itís not across the broad spectrum. We also saw
some significant increases across the board, so itís a
some years, youíll have a rental market that is very strong in some
areas," she explained, "and in others areas, youíll have
local rental markets where thereís not a lot of housing available.
So it changes. It can fluctuate from year to year."
year youíll see some (areas) that go down and some that go up, and
this was a very typical year."
who do notice their areaís BAH is lower than last yearís shouldnít
worry, Brumbaugh said, because an individual rate protection law is in
place to protect those who already are under a rental agreement. So,
if BAH rates in their area are lower Jan. 1 than Dec. 31, the
previous, higher rate applies. Service-members who change duty
stations after Jan. 1 will be affected by the new, lower rates for
that area, she explained.
(the military memberís) status didnít change, his rate will not go
down," she said. "Individual rate protection is in place. Itís
in the law, and itís not going to change."
local market economy serves as the basis for BAH rate changes.
Military housing offices from each installation begin collecting data
from the local rental market as early as January each year.
various housing offices research the current rates for two-bedroom
houses, townhouses, single-family homes and all the different
standards and profiles for homes, Brumbaugh explained.
rates are higher in larger, more heavily populated metropolitan areas,
such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Rates in rural
areas usually are more stable, and although they may increase to some
degree, the rise doesnít have the same impact as in larger cities,
military housing offices are looking at adequate and appropriate
dwellings we would want our military families living in," she
said. "They donít look at a small, two-bedroom house and say,
"We could put an E-5 with a family in that.í They look at it as
something that would be appropriate for that particular profile."
Oslie, Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Family Housing manager,
said the commercial rental/housing market in the Fort McCoy community
remained strong so all 2009 BAH rates for military living in the Fort
McCoy area increased from 2008 BAH rates.
said service-members need to remember that although the BAH program is
designed to benefit them in securing housing, itís not designed to
pay 100 percent of their housing expenses.
"If (the military member's) status didn't change, his rate
will not go down."
Director of the Defense Department's
sheís never met a servicemember who is entirely pleased with his or
her BAH rates, she said, the program is very well designed, and once
servicemembers understand the process for which the rates are set,
theyíre fairly satisfied, she said.
entitlement is a wonderful entitlement," she said. "(The
Defense Department) absolutely bends over backward to make sure that
if there is any change at all, itís for the benefit of the
personnel, including those in the Fort McCoy community, can access
their BAH rate with or without dependents at the Web site http://perdiem.hqda.pentagon.mil/perdiem/bah.html.
the site, the personnel will need to chose the year (1998-2009
available), enter their ZIP code (54656 for Sparta ó all local ZIP
codes will bring up the Fort McCoy rates), and select their rank/pay
grade to access their BAH rates.
more information about BAH rates in the Fort McCoy community, call