YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Fill out the Off-base Housing Allowance (OHA) survey and you might see a jump in what you receive.

And when the bottom line is money, you’d think people would jump at the chance to have their say.

But so far, only 16 percent — or 340 out of 2,054 eligible people — in Yokosuka have filled out the survey, Regional Master Chief Luis Cruz said Friday.

Cruz, working with ombudsmen and base leaders, currently is engaged in a “full court press” to get more active-duty military input on the survey, which is open to active-duty servicemembers or their family members who live off-base in Japan.

Civilians use a different entitlement system and thus are not included in this survey.

Unlike in previous years, data for this round is needed from as many respondents as possible.

Last year, for example, the survey asked for a certain number of respondents from each pay grade. But, Cruz said, “a bigger group might generate a better analysis of out-of-pocket expenses.”

“Every one of us on the economy in Japan is paying rent, buying groceries and paying for things out of pocket that they don’t fully recover,” Cruz said. “This (survey) is money in your pocket.”

The survey, which takes about 30 minutes to complete online, is used to see how much people are spending on their monthly utility bills, move-in expenses and other housing costs.

It excludes cable, telephone services, auto costs, pets and other nonhousing costs.

Data will be collected and analyzed, then used to set the OHA rates for years to come.

“Our sailors are pretty survey-centric,” Cruz said. “But of all the ones you fill out, this is one of the most important.”

The deadline for completing the survey is Jan. 31. Click here to access the survey.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up