Jul 7 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Thom Tillis and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) recently introduced a bipartisan bill to help young military families afford housing in their communities. The Junior Enlisted Housing Affordability Act would improve how the Department of Defense (DoD) calculates housing allowances for junior enlisted servicemembers with dependents to more accurately assess their housing costs. 

Current law requires that DoD tie the housing allowance for junior enlisted servicemembers with dependents to the costs of only two specific housing types (two-bedroom townhomes and apartments), which can lead to underestimates of the amount needed for young military families to afford quality housing in their communities. This bill would provide DoD more flexibility to ensure junior servicemembers living off-base can receive an adequate and equitable BAH to meet their needs and afford housing in the communities they serve.  

“Servicemembers and their families already sacrifice so much for our nation, so we should make it as easy as possible to access affordable housing while serving in our armed forces,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation makes commonsense reforms to military housing allowances to make it easier for junior-enlisted servicemembers and their families to access housing that better fits their needs.” 

According to an analysis by The Associated Press and Zillow of the five most populous military bases in the U.S., surrounding rental prices have skyrocketed 43.9% since January of 2018. However, the BAH rates across all military ranks have only risen by an average of 18.7%.

Junior enlisted servicemembers are considered any active-duty member of the armed forces, ranking between the E-1 and E-4 pay grades. 

Click here to read the Junior Enlisted Housing Affordability Act.