Lower-than-expected participation among some Europe-based troops has prompted the military to again extend the deadline for completing a survey on their costs for utilities, recurring maintenance and move-in housing expenses.
Military personnel who live off base now have until June 30 to fill out the online Overseas Housing Allowance Utility and Move-In Housing Allowance Survey. The results of the survey could affect how much money servicemembers are paid. This is the second deadline extension for the survey.
Officials hope for a 70 percent participation rate. But as of Monday, it hovered around 30 percent among servicemembers stationed in 15 European countries tapped for the annual survey. Troops in Germany and Italy had a 31.6 percent participation rate, 41.1 percent in the Netherlands, and 57.2 percent in Belgium, said Lt. Col. Thomas Seelig, policy and operations director for the 266th Financial Management Center in Germany.
Officials aren’t sure why active-duty personnel who live off base aren’t completing the survey, especially since the input is used to determine the utility portion of troops’ housing allowance.
The online survey, which takes about 40 to 50 minutes to complete, asks participants to estimate monthly and annual utility rates and whether they incurred any move-in costs, such as any service-activation fees.
To complete the survey, go to www.defensetravel.dod.mil/oha/survey/utilitymiha.html.