HASC Mark Would Give Sailors Under E-6 Basic Housing Allowance

May 14, 2024 6:35 PM
Navy berthing barge APL 70 under construction at Halter Marine on Aug. 5, 2022. USNI News Photo

Sailors under the E-6 pay grade may be eligible for a basic housing allowance under House authorizers’ draft defense policy bill for Fiscal Year 2025.

Under the House Armed Services Committee chairman’s mark of the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, released Monday, sailors and service members under E-6 would get a basic housing allowance.

“In authorizing an allowance under this subparagraph, the commanding officer shall consider the availability of quarters for the member and whether such quarters are inadequate or an impediment to morale, good order, or discipline,” reads the chairman’s mark.

Currently, basic housing allowance is offered to sailors and service members who are E-4 and E-5, leaving those below those ranks to live in the barracks. But for sailors, this can be an issue when their ships are in maintenance, leaving them to live in the barracks associated with the construction facility or on a berthing barge.

This has been a concern of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Honea, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee that the lack of junior housing was causing a quality of life issue for young sailors.

“That’s a number one quality of life concern of our sailors who are currently on deployment that are in that situation, is when we return from deployment, ‘am I going to continue to live on this ship or I’d be able to find a barracks room and move into a bed and have separation from this workplace?’” Honea testified in January.

In addition to changes in basic housing allowance, the mark also call for a report evaluating basic allowance and the availability of food to service members, including healthy options like fruits and vegetables.

The chairman’s mark of the policy bill also calls for raising pay allowances for E-1 to E-4 by an average of 15 percent.

Under the mark, an E-1 service member with fewer than two years of service would receive a monthly pay of $2,319.90, an increase from the current $2,017.20. An E-4 service member with two years of experience would receive a monthly payment of $3,028.80, up from $2,633.70. Unlike the E-1 service member, monthly pay for an E-4 depends on years of service.

The HASC will mark up the draft bills next Wednesday.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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