Warnock tackling more affordable military housing
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Many Americans are now struggling to find affordable housing, and it’s no different for those in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sen. Raphael Warnock said this is a huge problem he’s noticed.
“I have visited military bases all across our state and as I talked to service members, one issue that comes up time and time again is housing,” Warnock said. “Many of our service members simply aren’t getting what they deserve in terms of housing.”
In 2015, Congress cut the basic allowance for housing by 5%. Something Warnock said passed a majority of the burden onto service members.
Warnock wants to see this reverted.
“The first provision restores that basic allowance for housing. And it certainly couldn’t come at a more important time as we’re seeing housing costs rise generally,” Warnock said. “In addition to that, we have another provision that would direct the department of defense to provide more transparency to revisit how that calculation is done in the first place.”
Currently, allowances are based on factors such as rank and how many children, if any, a service member has.
Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Deanes said this is something she would like to see change.
“I think, especially a heavier focus on the junior Marines. Not being afforded the same opportunities as those of us that’ve been in a little bit longer that may be able to afford places that you want to live,” Deanes said. “Good areas with good schools that are safe. They may not have that option simply because they don’t make enough.”
To afford housing, some service members have had to pick up a second job. Deanes said sometimes, government assistance programs are not an option.
”I know a few that I’ve had to try to enroll in programs, such as WIC. I tried to enroll as a single mom sergeant E5 in California. And I made too much before taxes to receive any assistance care program,” she said.
This piece of legislation will be voted on in January. Congress will determine military funding for the year 2023.
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