Overseas Housing Allowance survey gives service members opportunity to influence entitlements

By Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
March 30, 2010

HEIDELBERG, Germany --The online Overseas Housing Allowance and Move-In Housing Allowance survey for Germany and Belgium begins April 1 and runs through April 30.

The OHA survey is done annually to identify how much service members spent in the previous year for utilities such as electricity, heating fuel, water, trash removal, and sewer fees.

The MIHA survey is done every three years and captures how much service members spend on their off-post quarters when they initially moved in. The MIHA is a one-time payment and covers expenses such as purchasing major appliances or fees charged for turning on utilities.

This year’s survey combines the two components and should take about 45 minutes to complete. When filling out the survey, service members should have their actual bills or records for the last 12 months to provide accurate and complete information, said Germany Country Allowance Coordinator William Gordon from the USAREUR G1, the command’s theater-level human resources provider. Having all receipts and paperwork on hand will help speed the process, he said.

“We encourage those eligible service members to take the survey. Full participation in this survey is essential as allowances will be updated based on the results,” said “The key to success is good participation and good data.”

The average annual OHA payment in 2009 in USAREUR was approximately $25,000 (impacted by currency fluctuations), Gordon said.

The survey is expected to be available April 1. To complete the survey, click the OHA link on the USAREUR home page.

For more information about the survey, visit the Hot Topics section on the USAREUR home page.