Thanks to Kelly over at Organized Chaos 25 for alerting me of this possible situation.
I can’t say I am surprised that I am writing about a possible reduction in military housing allowance. I mean we have experienced everything else when it comes to cuts for military so this isn’t a shocker right?
According to the Army Times the Pentagon is working on a plan that would possibly reduce BAH and force service members to pay a portion of their living expenses out of pocket.
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Uhhh… Newsflash: most of us who live off post are doing that already or has the government not noticed ? When my husband went back into the military in 2006 as an E3 our BAH here in the Fort Bragg area was alittle ( and I mean a very little) over $800. We were a young couple with smaller children so a 2 bedroom apartment worked for the time being. As our kids became older we needed more space and as you can imagine a small house is what we needed. When we PCS’ed to Savannah, Georgia we rented a house and our BAH did not cover the full rent. Keep in mind this wasn’t a brand new large home or some fancy digs. It was a decent home in a older neighborhood where I felt safe because housing wasn’t available on post at the time.
My point is that we came out of pocket to pay the rent and still had to maintain electricity, groceries, gas, the mandatory cell phone that is unspoken of but they require our soldiers to have, and other living expenses. Now I don’t want to come off ungrateful because everyone else in life has these same expenses (except the mandatory cell phone). However, civilians for the most part get to choose where they want to live and military don’t. Cutting BAH would do great harm to many ,especially lower enlisted stationed in places with a high cost of living.
As the Army Times article mentions housing vacancies on military installations already tends to be limited, and competition for on base housing is high. If this BAH reduction is implemented it could possibly make finding a decent and safe home off post almost impossible.
I’m a realist so I am not in denial that
unfortunately financial changes will be made in some areas of the military lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to. Yet, it seems to me that despite all the financial changes that probably do need to be made housing which is the biggest and most bare necessity we need should be left alone. The government needs to care more about the morale and mind frame of their military. Once again you can’t expect to put these kind of financial pressures on the men and women who serve your country and expect them to go into combat as if nothing is happening on the home front.
Simply put take care of the military and their family and you (the government) will be doing yourself a favor and getting a great return on your investment.
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There were times that the waitlist for housing was over 6months and we had to find something off post. And on those occasions we were not willing to sacrifice safety because our BAH would only cover a certain type if house in a certain neighborhood. So we cut costs to include that “mandatory” cell phone, talk about ruffling feathers on that one. But my point is the same as your, they will reduce bah and cause families undue stress by making military life that much harder.
It’s upsetting but I don’t really expect to see any sympathy from the civilian side. They’re already apparently upset that we have more than one kind of ketchup at the commissary. Since most of their jobs don’t offer them a housing stipend, I think what we’re going to hear from non-military is “Good! It’s about time!” rather than “How could they?”
I agree that cutting BAH is a bad idea. I have lived both off post and on post, so I have seen the pros and cons of both. Cutting military families budgets is only going to cause more damage than good.
The BAH my husband gets doesn’t cover our rent, let alone the $300/ month we also pay for trash, water, gas, electric and insurance. We picked an almost 30 year old house that was a surprisingly great deal for this area. I refused to sacrifice safety. We intentionally picked a house that we knew we could afford while I was out of work on maternity leave and that I would feel safe in while he was deployed.
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