OHA increases for Junior Enlisted
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Overseas Housing Allowance recently increased for junior enlisted service members, opening the window for more options when house hunting in the local community.
OHA is designed to partially offset housing expenses at overseas duty locations when service members live in privately leased housing on the local economy.
Junior enlisted service members who have dependents or are single, whose time in service exceeds 36 months, will be able to take advantage of the increase.
“The rate increase affects Airmen who are getting ready to move out of the dorms, or for those who may be paying a percentage out of pocket for their current rent,” said Victoria Pazian, 36th Civil Engineering Squadron housing office assistant manager. “For the single Airman getting ready to move out of the dorms, they will now have more options when looking for a unit to rent.”
Prior to moving out of base dormitories, junior enlisted personnel must provide the housing office with all the necessary documents such as proof of time in rank, a pre-inspection form from the dorm manager and a copy of official orders. Airmen are also encouraged to talk to the housing office before looking at units.
“We advise the Airmen to come see the housing office, so we can provide advice on the process and inform them of their rates and the basics they need to know before making a decision on a home,” Pazian said. “We also start the paperwork to get the OHA started.”
After the OHA paperwork has been submitted, it is critical that Airmen understand OHA may not take effect immediately, causing them to pay out of pocket for the first month’s rent. An advance may be taken out through finance for the first month’s rent as well as a security deposit. If an advance is taken out, then it must be paid back within 12 months, or 24 months with commander’s approval. If an advance is taken out for the security deposit, members must pay it back before they permanently change stations.
For Airmen who are currently paying out of pocket costs for their rent due to the OHA rate, their pay will automatically update through the finance office.
“The pay system will automatically update the member's OHA allowance to the maximum amount allowed,” said Tech. Sgt. Tabatha Jones, 36th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician. “If an Airman is currently paying out of pocket for their rent, they should have seen the adjustment in the December pay period. If the OHA is not adjusted we advise them to come see the finance office so we can fix the problem.”
Airmen, who are new to Andersen, will automatically be introduced to the new OHA rates upon visiting the housing office.
“I’m glad OHA increased for us Airmen, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to find a nice place, or that I would have to come out of pocket for my rent,” said Senior Airman Jordan Williams, 36th Munitions Squadron munitions storage crew members. “With the increase, I was able to max out on my OHA and find a nice house in a nice location.”
For more information on the new OHA rates or the housing process, contact the base housing office at 366-3127 or visit Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.