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Rental Expenses for a Residence
particular or unusual situations, always consult the JFTR, VoIume  1,  chapter  9. VARIABLE HOUSING ALLOWANCE For  personnel  who  are  receiving  BAQ  inside CONUS,  Alaska,  or  Hawaii,  the  variable  housing allowance (VHA) is the equivalent of an OHA. The purpose of the VHA is to help a member who is entitled to  BAQ  defray  some  of  the  housing  costs  when permanent government quarters are not assigned or cannot be occupied jointly by the member and his or her dependents. GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS To be eligible for VHA, a member must file a VHA Certificate and must fall into any one of the following entitlement  categories: Be assigned to a PDS in an area of the United States that is a high housing cost area with respect to the member’s  paygrade. Be a member with dependents assigned to an unaccompanied tour outside the United States and for any period while the member is serving that tour, his or her dependents reside in an area of the United States that is a high housing cost area with respect to the member’s paygrade. Be a member with dependents assigned to a PDS in the United States and, because of the location of the PDS   or   circumstances   of   the   assignment,   the dependents must reside at a different location in an area of the United States that is a high housing cost area with respect  to  that  member’s  paygrade.  (These  conditions must be according to provisions of the JFTR, Volume 1.) Be a member with dependents assigned to an unaccompanied tour in Alaska or Hawaii; and be or would be entitled to an FSA—Type I, if the PDS were outside  the  United  States. TERMINOLOGY The  terms  defined  in  the  following  paragraphs  will be used throughout this chapter. For the purpose of VHA, these terms should be used and associated with the definitions described in the following paragraphs. Permanent  Duty  Station A member’s old PDS is considered to be the PDS for VHA purposes through the day before the member reports to the new PDS in compliance with PCS orders. Annual  certification  of  the  member’s  housing  costs  is required for the payment of VHA. NOTE:  VHA is not  payable  for  the  number  of travel days allowed on PCS orders for direct travel between the old and new PDS. A reduction in the VHA entitlement for those travel days will be made at the rate paid to the member while assigned to the old PDS or at the rate payable following departure from that PDS if an allowance was not paid while at the old PDS because government  quarters  were  assigned. High Housing Cost Area For VHA purposes, an area is considered to be a high housing cost area for a member when the median monthly cost of housing in that area for other members in the same paygrade exceeds 80 percent of the median monthly cost of housing in CONUS for members in the same  paygrade. Member Without Dependents The term member without dependents as used in this section means a member who is entitled to BAQ at the  without-dependents  rate. Member With Dependents The term member with dependents  as used in this section means a member who is entitled to BAQ at the with-dependents  rate. Unaccompanied  Tour The  term  unaccompanied  tour  as  used  in  this section means any portion of a member’s assignment to a PDS in which any of the following circumstances pertain to the assigned PDS: Outside the United States when the dependents reside in, or during which all dependents return to, the United States to establish a permanent residence. In Alaska when the dependents reside in, or during which all dependents return to, one of the other states  or  the  District  of  Columbia  to  establish  a permanent residence and the member is entitled to VHA for the PDS provided the member would be entitled to 8-16

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