WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The National Defense Authorization Act to become official is now in the hand of the president for his signature. Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff was one of two senators who pushed for one part of the bill.
With bipartisan support from Florida senator Marco Rubio, the Military Housing Affordability Act would improve housing quality for service men and women in Georgia.
Servicemembers working at the Robins Air Force Base could see changes to their basic allowance for housing (BAH) rate. This is the rate used to determine how much money each service member receives depending on their rank. Senator Ossoff says he wanted to remove restrictions needed to improve military lives.
"I also sit down with the junior enlisted personnel and the young military families whenever I visit bases across Georgia, and I've heard from them their needs, and that's why I have fought for and secured the most significant pay increase for military servicemembers in 2 decades," Ossoff said.
The BHA rate is different from the pay service members receive. The national defense bill includes a 4.6% pay increase under the bill. The U.S. Department of Defense will have the authority to change the BAH rate depending on where a servicemember is living.
Earlier this year, we reported on the lack of housing for servicemembers and their families. Kate Hogan is the Community and Economic Development Director with the City of Warner Robins. She says they're watching the housing market to help families.
"We have some unique trends that are obviously brought on by the base as far as single-family rental communities, so we're interested to see how that progresses through the development pipeline with the City of Warner Robins," Hogan said.
When someone in the military begins working for the base, they go through the military housing office or the private or unaccompanied housing offices. Hogan says there is one development coming for families inside and outside the military.
"In the new year, we could expect about 500 single-home building permits. Probably more like 520 is what we're estimating," Hogan said.
With the possibility of the BAH going up, service members at the base should have a better living standard.