The Army is raising the amount of money provided soldiers for housing in the Fort Drum area by from three to eight percent. The housing allowance numbers vary by rank and are the money the Army provides above salaries to compensate soldiers not provided government housing.
The allowances and the public knowledge of them is blamed by some for what is seen as inflated rents in the Watertown area, particularly for those civilians not receiving the four figure allowances. The most frequent complaint one hears in a market with few vacancies is that landlords set rents according to the BHA numbers and not the intrinsic value of what they are renting. This is particularly hard on those of more modest income for whom a $1200 rent is very high.
The other argument is that the market determines rents and that with a vacancy rate of under two percent and a shortage of subsidized housing the housing crunch will persist.
Several hundred units of housing are now under construction in the Watertown area.
The new rates take effect tomorrow.
Watertown Daily Times | Housing allowances around Fort Drum increase for 2013