There is no room for negotiation when it comes to relocating for military families. They are assigned depending on the requirements of the mission whenever they undergo a PCS, also known as a permanent change of station. Some families may be required to relocate all the way across the country, and in order to ensure that they continue to have a place to live, they rely on their base housing or their BAH (housing allowance).
There is only one issue to consider. After a decision is made by the military that it is time to relocate, it is becoming increasingly difficult for military families to find affordable housing and establish themselves.
Kristin Martin, whose husband serves in the military, recently received word that the family will be relocating to a naval facility in San Diego, California. Their family of five needed a home, and it was her responsibility to find one for them.
There was no choice for the base housing. There was a waiting of between 14 and 16 months for a property with four bedrooms. Sadly, this is the situation at a number of different military installations. Because there is such a high demand for base housing, families often have to wait for many months before they are able to purchase a home.
Because military families can no longer rely on base housing, they are required to investigate housing options in the surrounding community. And many are forced to rely on their BAH in order to calculate how much they are able to pay each month in rent or other expenses.
Martin looked into staying at a hotel in the area that was exclusive to military personnel. Unfortunately, every single one of them was already occupied.
She was forced to think outside the box, and as a result, she wound up making the hunt for a house her full-time occupation. When I first opened my eyes, the first thing that I did was search the internet for real estate.
The application fees cost her a few hundred dollars to complete and submit. She had to send in over 30 applications before she was ultimately successful in finding a place for her family to live.
Along the road, there were a few issues that arose. They were required to begin making rent payments much before they were even prepared to move. In addition, the monthly payment for the new house was $4,200, which is $700 more than the basic allowance for housing (BAH) that her lieutenant husband receives each month.
There are many other military families who do not have the financial stability of the Martins. The application fees can cost hundreds of dollars for some people. In addition, many people are unable to pay that much additional money on top of the BAH that is received each month.
Martin discussed the actual monetary repercussions. She is aware of the fact that it is highly likely that her husband will be stationed in San Diego for a minimum of two or three years. That could be an additional $20,000 that we have to pay out of pocket on top of our BAH just for rent.
Martin is cognizant of the fact that it is a significant financial burden, the likes of which many households are unable to bear. She fondly remembers the time when her family was a junior enlisted unit. These kinds of households are more prone to have difficulties.
For decades, servicemembers have received a significant benefit in the form of housing. It is because of this that many families are able to remain in the military despite the frequent relocations that may take place anywhere from every two to four years, depending on the branch of service and the job that the enlisted member holds.
According to remarks made by Newsbreak, the Department of Defense has disregarded its obligation to help military families locate somewhere to live that are affordable.
There are a few approaches that can be taken to solve the issue; however, none of them are particularly advantageous. Families have the option of settling for homes that are not up to par, such as those that are located in undesirable areas, are too small for their needs, or are referred to as "fixer-uppers." It is also conceivable to successfully manage extraordinarily lengthy commutes both to and from one's place of employment. There is also the issue that the Martins are facing, which is spending thousands of dollars more out of their own pocket than they had planned on doing in their budget.
Armed Forces Housing Advocates was founded by veteran Kate Needham, who is also a co-founder of the organization. She made a remark along the lines of, "We have families coming to us that are on exorbitantly lengthy waiting lists and sitting in homes that they can't afford, like an Airbnb rental, or they're in a hotel, or camping in tents or living in RVs," as a result of their predicament.
All of these concerns are common knowledge, particularly among families who have already been through the process of a PCS within the past two years. During this time, all branches of the armed forces are reporting extremely low numbers of people signing up for service.
The housing market is a complete disaster, and as a result, a number of people already serving in the armed forces will ultimately decide not to reenlist.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on American Retirement Insider.