‘Long overdue:’ Measure to restore full military housing stipend passes key committee

Measure to restore full military housing stipend passes key committee.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Military life often means moving every few years. It’s a requirement that can get expensive for military families.


Now, they are a step closer to getting more help to cover the cost of housing. A measure to restore the monthly housing stipend back to 100 percent recently passed a key House committee.

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Amy Shick knows firsthand about the expenses facing military families. Her husband serves in the U.S. Army, and they live near Joint-Base Lewis McChord in Washington State. It’s an area of the country that, like so many others, has had skyrocketing housing costs.

“Inflation has hit our economy really hard and military families are feeling it,” said Shick.

Shick is a board member for the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). The group has been pushing for years to help military families keep up with rising costs.

A big focus is on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). It is based on the location, level of service in the military, and whether there are dependents.

In 2019, BAH was lowered to cover 95 percent of housing costs down from 100 percent, leaving military families with higher out-of-pocket expenses.

“Our BAH dollars have not caught up and so our spending power is a lot less, which means it can turn into a financial hardship for military families,” said Shick.

But this month, there was progress in the House to restore BAH. The House Armed Services Committee passed H.R. 8070, the FY25 Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the measure to restore BAH back to 100 percent.

Our Washington News Bureau spoke with Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA), who has been leading the effort to help fully restore BAH in the House.

“We know it is long overdue,” said Strickland. “Restoring it to 100 percent is one way to put a couple hundred dollars a month back into the pockets of families who are serving our country.”

Shick says the move is critical to help families.

“This just gives military families some more breathing room financially. These moves are just very expensive,” said Shick.

The next step in the process is for the full House to vote on the measure. That could happen as soon as early-mid June.

“Basic housing is a fundamental right that all people have especially those who are serving our country,” said Strickland.

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