Army cuts housing allowance for soldiers

Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Most incoming soldiers assigned to Fort Wainwright next year will see reductions in their housing allowance, the Department of Defense has announced.

The monthly housing cuts announced Wednesday amount to a decrease of more than 9 percent for some service members. The cuts affect only soldiers facing transfers, demotions or changes in dependency status. Military members already stationed at Wainwright will see no decrease.

The smallest cuts will go to soldiers with the least seniority, privates and specialists.

A private with no dependents who is assigned to Wainwright next year will receive $25 less monthly. Those with dependents will receive $33 less per month.

Most severely affected are first lieutenants with dependents, with the allowance dropping to $1,821, compared with $2,006 this year.

A sergeant first class will receive significantly less money to live off post, with the allowance being cut to $1,905 from $2,045.

Troops assigned to Fort Richardson in Anchorage also will see their housing allowances reduced next year, but not as much as Fort Wainwright soldiers.

Lieutenant colonels assigned to Fort Richardson will actually see their housing allowance increase 15 percent.

The Department of Defense said that nationwide, military housing allowances will increase about 2 percent.

The allowance is calculated by looking at median market rent, the average cost of utilities and the price of renter's insurance.

Jim Dodson, president of the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation, said Army officials told him the cuts should be partially offset by an increase in the cost-of-living allowance for military members stationed in Alaska.

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