Navy Says Service Members On Guam Won't Get Housing Bump
Written by Michael Rudolph, Guam News Factor Writer
Thursday, 17 December 2009 13:01
GUAM - Members of the armed forces stationed on Guam will reportedly not benefit from the average 2.5% increase in housing allowance rates for 2010.
Guam service members are under the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) program, which according to Guam Navy Housing has not been informed by Washington of any housing allowance increases for 2010.
The Department of Defense issued a press release yesterday to announce that close to one million men and women serving in the armed forces and stationed in the 50 U.S. States will receive an average increase of $37 (2.5%) to their monthly housing allowances.
The 2.5% increase to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Program for 2010 marks the smallest increase in the program's history. This is because "Rates are set based on actual housing data, so as the economy has declined, vacancy rates have increased [and] rental prices have declined, which results directly to lower BAH rates in various areas," according to the statement made by DoD BAH program analyst Cherly Anne Woehr reported by the American Forces Press Service.
But, according to Woehr's assessment, big cities in the U.S. may account for the overall bump.
Typically, 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 doesn't have the same impact as in larger cities.