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DOD releases details on military housing allowance boost

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata
Source: Uifa’atali Amata’a Washington D.C. office press release

Washington, D.C. — Dept. of Defense (DOD) has released details on the military housing allowance for 2023, which adds support for Service Members and helps counter inflationary costs.

 “Along with the pay raise in recent legislation, this housing allowance can help our dedicated military be on a better financial footing,” said Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata. “These improvements are well-deserved, and part of our national commitment to those who volunteer to serve.”

The DOD Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for 2023 will rise an average of 12.1 percent. According to the DOD, there will be an estimated $26.8 billion in BAH payments for about one million Service Members. DOD calculates BAH rates from 300 military housing areas across the nation based on current rent and utilities, then payments vary by pay grade.

The DOD announcement cited “unique market conditions” for the “significant increase in average BAH rates.”


The recently passed federal omnibus legislation, a series of bills contained in over 4,000 pages, establishes funding for departments and agencies across the federal government, and it includes two major victories for American Samoa, along with other yearly funding and grants locally.

First, Congress made permanent an increase that was first passed in 2019 bringing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the four smaller territories to 83 percent after years at 55 percent. The FMAP is the percentage of Medicaid healthcare services that the federal government will pay. These changes will allow the American Samoa Government to invest even more resources to other areas of healthcare, while also allowing potential healthcare providers more stability as they provide important services to American Samoa.

Second, the legislation also included an increase of $1 million to the ASG operations account at the Department of the Interior. The ASG operations account funds critical ASG services like the judiciary. This marks the sixth consecutive increase at the request of Congresswoman Amata – the second largest boost of the six years – bringing the cumulative total to over $5.3 million, after years of level federal funding in this account for the Territory.

 “This permanent extension of the FMAP to 83 percent is a wonderful victory for the territories and all of us in Congress that shared this priority, as our people can now count on this non-emergency rate of federal support for the long term, rather than year-to-year,” said Congresswoman Amata. “We appreciate the work of Medicaid Director Sandra King-Young and her staff on this program.”

 “I am also thankful for another successful increase to the operations account so these funds can be put to work for our people,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “Over the past six years these changes accumulate to $5.3 million as of 2023, which would become over $50 million by maintaining that for the next ten years.”

 “Finally, I want to once again thank the leadership of the Appropriations committees, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Richard Shelby, and Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Kay Granger; House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva and Ranking Member Westerman; and Chairman Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. My territorial colleagues, especially Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands and Rep. Kilili Sablan of the Northern Marianas, are dependable partners in the bipartisan goals to improve health care and federal services for all the territories.