PYONGTAEK, South Korea — U.S. civilians who work at Camp Carroll in South Korea will have more money to spend on renting a home thanks to big increases in their annual living quarters allowance, or LQA, Army officials said.

The increases, which took effect Feb. 6, range from about 18 to 30 percent above the older rates.

Besides more money for rent, the hikes also might make it easier for base officials to attract civilians to job openings at the base, said Camp Carroll installation manager Wilfred Plumley.

Camp Carroll is a logistics base in Waegwan, in southeastern South Korea.

Amounts of increase range from $3,100 to $5,800, depending upon pay grade and whether the civilian is in South Korea with or without a family, according to the Army’s Area IV Support Activity in Taegu.

The LQA for a civilian in pay grade GS-9, with dependents, for example, rose $3,100, or about 18 percent, from $17,500 to $20,600.

Those civilians with families, regardless of pay grade, also are eligible for an additional increase over the base allowance depending on their number of dependents, officials said.

For a civilian with two or three dependents, the allowance increases by 10 percent of the base rate; it rises 20 percent with four to five dependents; and 30 percent with six or more dependents.

For a civilian in pay grade GS-9, without family, the housing allowance rose $3,100, or 20 percent, from $15,500 to $18,600.

The LQA hikes are for civilians “that are assigned to Camp Carroll, regardless of where they live, because the LQA is based on where you work at,” said Plumley.

“The amount for Waegwan had not been reviewed for many years and people who decide to live in Taegu for their families, there was a very large discrepancy between Taegu and Waegwan. In fact, depending on our grade, it could be as much as $7,000 difference,” Plumley said.

The increase came after officials in Taegu and at Camp Carroll met last November with U.S. State Department officials who were in South Korea to look at housing allowances for U.S. soldiers in southeastern South Korea, Plumley said.

It gave Plumley a chance to talk to them about LQA for Camp Carroll civilians. They asked that he submit a survey of housing costs for the base’s employees. He did so in mid-December and the agency issued new rates that took effect Jan. 23.

“I was happily surprised,” said Plumley.

But then officials were surprised anew when the agency raised the rates yet again — the hikes that took effect Feb. 6, said Kevin Jackson, chief spokesman for the Area IV Support Activity.

One civilian who’ll benefit from the increase is Foley Bourland, a GS-13 with four dependents. He lives in Taegu but commutes each day to Camp Carroll, where he’s director for support operations with the Army’s Materiel Support Center–Korea.

Before the recent increases, his LQA was about $23,000 — a base LQA of $19,400 plus another 20 percent.

But at his new base rate, $25,200 plus a $5,040 add-on for his dependents, Bourland will get $30,240, nearly $7,000 more than before.

For Camp Carroll’s U.S. civilian work force, said Bourland, the new rates give them “more flexibility” as to the type of housing they can rent, “and less chance that they’ll have to pay money out of their own pocket to acquire living quarters sufficient for them, depending on their family.”

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