Possible Full Housing Allowance for Massachusetts Servicemembers

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Military Divorce |

The Defense Department may increase Basic Allowance for Housing levels from 95% to 100% of housing costs, which could result in troops with families in Massachusetts receiving an average of $100 to $184 more per month. This change would eliminate the cost share that troops currently bear.

According to a recent analysis conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD), as mandated by Congress, troops without dependents could receive an average increase of $82 to $164 per month if Pentagon leaders choose to restore the full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) level. This move has been advocated by several lawmakers.

Defense officials made a decision in 2015 to decrease the housing allowances provided to military families. The new policy reduced the amount paid from the full cost to 95% of their rental costs, as determined by the Basic Allowance for Housing formula. Congress has authorized a cost-saving measure, although it was not mandatory.

Growing concerns have been raised about the availability and affordability of housing for military families, as a result of the current economic conditions. In response to the surging housing costs, defense officials have taken action to aid service members in securing affordable and high-quality housing. To this end, a temporary BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) increase has been implemented at the start of fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

Lawmakers are pressuring defense officials to reinstate the policy of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) covering 100% of housing costs for troops. This can be done by the Department of Defense (DoD) without the need for legislation.

As per recent reports, Congress has mandated the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct an analysis of the financial impact of a proposed 5% increase in the salaries of service members. The analysis is expected to determine the amount of money that would be received by service members of different ranks and dependent statuses, as well as the overall cost of the proposed increase to the department. The cost is expected to be high. According to recent estimates, the Department of Defense (DoD) would incur an outlay of $1.1 billion in 2024 if the full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) were to be restored in January. This means that paying the complete cost of housing would result in a significant financial burden for the DoD. The current amount of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) paid to approximately 1 million service members is $26.8 billion. Furthermore, an additional amount of $2.4 billion is set to be added to this sum.

According to an analysis obtained by Military Times, the Department of Defense has reported that military personnel with dependents will receive an increase in their monthly pay. On average, an E-5 with dependents will receive an additional $111 per month, while an O-2 with dependents will receive an average of $118 more.

According to a report by Department analysts, the costs of gradually implementing a boost in the allowance have been examined. However, the report does not include any recommendations about whether the department or Congress should take action.

Lawmakers have stated in their 2022 report that the current 5% out-of-pocket housing cost is reducing the buying power of service member families, particularly in high-cost areas of the United States. The report has required the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct an analysis on this matter.

Concerns have been raised by family advocates.

According to Shannon Razsadin, the president and executive director of the Military Family Advisory Network, military families, much like all Americans, have experienced financial strain due to the pandemic, inflation, and an unstable housing market. Military families are not afforded the luxury of hunkering down and waiting out tough times, according to recent statements. According to recent data, military personnel are required to relocate approximately every 2.5 years due to orders from their superiors. A recent study on housing and food insecurity has revealed a significant correlation between the cost of housing and the ability to purchase nutritious food. The study, which involved extensive research, highlights the intersection between these two critical issues.

According to a recent statement, a $100 increase in monthly income could significantly impact military families who are currently experiencing food insecurity. Reports indicate that almost 25% of military families are struggling to put food on the table, making this additional financial support a potential game-changer. In a recent statement, the speaker expressed optimism regarding the options presented by the Department of Defense (DoD) and expressed hope that Congress would pave the way for a complete reinstatement of the housing allowance.

According to a recent analysis by the Department of Defense, the cost of restoring the full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) benefit over a period of five years was also examined. According to sources, the Department of Defense (DoD) is expected to incur an additional cost of $1.1 billion in 2024 for the full implementation of the project. According to projections, an estimated $7.5 billion, accounting for inflation in housing costs, is expected to be added over the course of the next five years through 2028.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is considering a gradual increase in the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) over the course of five years. Under this plan, service members would receive one percentage point increase each year, resulting in a decrease in the amount of money received at the beginning of the program. On average, this decrease would range from $19 to $31 per month. According to sources, the Department of Defense (DoD) could potentially save money by spending an additional $214 million in 2024 and an extra $4.4 billion over the course of five years. This information suggests that the DoD may be able to reduce costs in the long run by making this investment.

The monthly increase in Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will be applicable to all eligible individuals. However, troops who reside in privatized housing will not receive the increase as their complete BAH is usually paid directly to their housing landlord. Privatized housing rent has been set at the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate, according to recent reports.

According to recent data, approximately 66% of service members reside in the civilian community. Military personnel have the option to either rent or purchase a residence in the civilian community, which is priced lower than the monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). This allows them to keep the additional funds for personal use. Military personnel who opt to rent or purchase a residence that exceeds their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will have to cover the additional cost themselves, according to recent reports.

A new allowance has been introduced to help offset the costs of local median rents and average utilities. The purpose of this allowance is to provide financial relief to those who are struggling to afford the high cost of living in their area. This initiative aims to make it easier for individuals and families to make ends meet and maintain a decent standard of living. The Department of Defense has announced that the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates will be adjusted in January of each year. The adjustments are based on surveys and information collected about rent and utilities for various types of houses in over 300 military housing areas across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

According to recent reports, the year 2023 saw a significant increase in BAH rates, with an average rise of 12.1%. This marks the largest year-over-year percentage jump in the allowance in at least 15 years.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been advised to enhance its methodology for computing housing allowances for troops. Defense officials are currently scrutinizing these procedures in response to the report.

During a Massachusetts divorce, the servicemembers basic housing allowance is considered includable income when calculating child support or alimony.

If an increase in the basic housing allowance is approved, it is imperative for the party who receives either child support or alimony to re-examine and re-calculate and determine whether they should seek a modification in the amount of money they receive.

Should you be in the midst of a military divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.




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