Overseas Housing Allowance Survey open through March 31

The Overseas Housing Allowance Survey is open from January 1 to March 31, 2023. Graphic by U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

By David Overson, U.S. Army Europe and Africa

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The Defense Department annual Overseas Housing Allowance Survey is open from 1 January to 31 March, 2023, and all service members receiving OHA, except those sharing rent, are highly encouraged to participate.

The results of the survey directly impact the amount of housing allowance each service member receives, as the overseas housing allowance is a cost-reimbursement based allowance. The survey is designed to collect utility and recurring maintenance expense data incurred by uniformed service members stationed overseas who reside in private housing.

Spouses are encouraged to complete the survey if the service member is unavailable.

According to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Military Compensation Policy Directorate, service members receiving OHA for off-post rental housing, except those sharing rent, should take the survey at: https://www.travel.dod.mil/Allowances/Overseas-Housing-Allowance/OHA-Data-Collection-Surveys/

Completing the survey is critical to ensure OHA rates for the Utility and Recurring Maintenance Allowance and Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA) are properly set for service members stationed overseas. The survey results directly impact the amount of OHA each SM receives.

This year’s survey will capture actual utility expenses and recurring maintenance expense amounts provided by participants, referencing utility bills and receipts, or estimates for maintenance expenses. If a service member has participated in previous OHA surveys, the questions will be similar in scope. They will be asked to report the average monthly cost of utilities and any routine maintenance expenses they incurred within the last 12 months.

Reportable Utility/Recurring Maintenance expenses include the following:

Electricity; Natural gas for heating and cooking; Bottled gas; Other household fuels such as kerosene, heating oil, coal, firewood; Sewer; Trash; Running water for residence; Bottled water for drinking; Rental insurance required by custom, law or lease; Maintenance and repair costs (excluding yard or lawn maintenance)

Reportable Move-In expenses include the following:

Air conditioners and/or fans; Air purifiers; Burglar alarm; Cabinets; Carbon monoxide detectors; Clothes dryer; Curtain and/or shower rods; Dishwasher; Door locks and keys; Electricity hook-up fees; Freezer; Fumigation; Heating hook-up fees; Home inspection; Humidifiers and/or dehumidifiers; Insulation material; Permanent fixtures; Plumbing hook-up fees; Refrigerator; Security doors; Shelving; Sinks and/or toilet seats; Smoke detectors; Space heaters; Stove; Telephone hook-up fees; Transformers and/or voltage regulators; Trash and/or recycling containers; Wallpaper and/or painting; Wardrobes (i.e. clothing storage); Washing machine; Water heater; Water purifier; Window and/or door screens; Window bars; Window coverings; Other move-in expenses may be reported in the comments section at the end of the survey.

You have a say in your pay!