Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, U.S. Senator Todd Young, and U.S. Representative Jim Banks (IN-03) today urged the Department of Defense to consider increasing the military’s basic allowance for housing (BAH) in the Fort Wayne area. BAH is a monthly allowance paid to servicemembers on active duty, including full-time members of the National Guard and Reserves, to help cover the cost of living in off-base housing. More than 200 Hoosiers from the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne may be receiving housing allowances that are too low based on the cost of living in the Fort Wayne military housing area (MHA). In their letter, the senators and congressman cited reports that insufficient information was submitted in 2017 to the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), the Department of Defense agency responsible for setting BAH rates nationally, and that the Fort Wayne area has experienced significant development that could affect BAH rates.
Donnelly, Young, Banks stated, “It has come to our attention that data informing the current housing allowance rates in the Fort Wayne area do not accurately reflect current housing costs to more than 200 Hoosier servicemembers and their families.”
“…Based on the information we have seen, we believe it is imperative that you promptly reevaluate the housing allowance rates for the Fort Wayne area in line with applicable U.S. law and public policy… We have every confidence that as a veteran and dedicated civil servant yourself, you are committed to the goal of ensuring servicemembers receive fair compensation and benefits in return for all they sacrifice for our nation.”
The letter highlights concerns about past and current housing allowance rates and urges the Defense Travel Management Office to work with the 122nd Fighter Wing to review the data and consider raising rates if appropriate. It also highlights that the 122nd Fighter Wing leadership was not appropriately consulted as their basic allowance for housing was being calculated. This issue could affect National Guard and Reserve bases nationwide, and the letter urges the travel office to send guidance throughout its organization to ensure its personnel are appropriately consulting local National Guard and Reserve unit leadership as basic housing allowance rates are determined.
The full text of the letter can be downloaded here.