Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) urged Secretary of Defense Llyod J. Austin III to reevaluate the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for the Spokane Military Housing Area (MHA) with the goal of addressing the lack of access to affordable housing around the base due to rising rental and housing costs in the area, as well as the lack of on base housing. In the letter, Cathy requested the Department of Defense to reevaluate the Spokane MHA on potentially being considered a Cost-of-Living Allowance in the Continental United States (CONUS COLA) location.
“During my visits to Fairchild, I always enjoy the opportunities to speak with our airmen and witness their passion for Fairchild’s mission. Unfortunately, some airmen and their families have been greatly affected by rising rental and housing costs in addition to increasing non-housing expenditures,” Cathy wrote. “Both rental and housing prices in the Spokane Military Housing Area (MHA) have, in recent years, spiked dramatically. This has caused significant hardship for junior enlisted military personnel and their families. Due to a lack of on base housing, and tightening of the off-base housing market, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) has not kept up with property price increases, placing an undue burden on the men and women in uniform and their families.”
She continued, “As a result, I request that the Department of Defense reevaluate the BAH rates for the Spokane MHA. Also, as mentioned, rising costs in non-housing expenditures have negatively affected some of Fairchild’s devoted airmen and their families. Therefore, I additionally request the Department of Defense to reevaluate the Spokane MHA on potentially being considered a Cost-of-Living Allowance in the Continental United States (CONUS COLA) location. I appreciate the Department of Defense’s consideration of these reevaluation requests, and I look forward to your response.”
NOTE: This letter comes after Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall agreed to Cathy’s request for a complete and thorough Housing Requirement and Market Analysis (HRMA) to assess the Fairchild local housing market and its ability to meet military housing demand. The HRMA is expected to be completed in FY23.
CLICK HERE to read the letter to Secretary Austin.