ICYMI: Senator Murray pressed Air Force leaders about the housing costs at Fairchild Air Force Base—VIDEO HERE
Senator Murray: “I’m glad to see this critical increase in housing allowances for our servicemembers in Spokane, Bremerton and Port Angeles to help them deal with the rising rents in our region, and the next step here must be to make these increases permanent.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who serves on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies subcommittee, announced temporary increases to rental housing allowances from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for active duty servicemembers in Spokane, Bremerton, and Port Angeles. The allowance increases seek to alleviate the financial burden of spiking housing costs faced by servicemembers relocating to military housing areas (MHAs). As the cost of rental housing has continued to skyrocket in these areas Senator Murray has pushed to secure these allowance increases to ensure that no servicemembers struggle to afford housing, and in June pressed Air Force leaders about the housing challenges at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. Spokane is one of just five locations across the country that will be seeing a 20% increase in housing allowances, with all other locations seeing 10% or 15% increases.
“No person should have to struggle to keep a roof over their head—and that is certainly true for our servicemembers and their families who sacrifice so much for our country. I’m glad to see this critical increase in housing allowances for our servicemembers in Spokane, Bremerton, and Port Angeles to help them deal with the rising rents in our region. The next step here must be to make these increases permanent. And while this is a welcome and overdue step in the right direction, I’m going keep fighting for Washington state’s servicemembers and military families to make sure they have the support they need, whether that’s for affordable housing, child care, or more,” said Senator Murray.
The temporary rates for the allowances will be in effect October 1 through December 31, 2021. Eligibility for the rates are determined on an individual basis according to service-specific implementation guidelines.
The daughter of a World War II veteran and also a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Murray has been a longtime advocate for veterans and military families. Just this month, she helped to secure more than $15 million in federal awards for infrastructure projects benefiting local military installations that provide support to service members, their families, and defense efforts. Earlier this year, Senator Murray introduced the Veteran Families Health Services Act of 2021—comprehensive legislation that would, among other things, ensure that service members’ and veterans’ fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and counseling, are included as part of the health benefits they’ve earned. In May, she helped introduce three bipartisan bills to support military families and help increase access to paid parental leave, better equip the Pentagon to help fix the 135 Military Child Development Centers (CDCs) operating in “poor” or “failing” condition, and support active duty military families experiencing food insecurity to ensure no one willing to serve this nation in uniform struggles to feed their family.