Washington, D.C. —Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and a group of his colleagues to introduce a legislative package that will examine existing barriers for servicemembers across Colorado and nationwide to obtain affordable and quality housing. The legislation aims to provide recourse to service members and military families who are left vulnerable to fluctuating markets, rising prices, inadequate base housing, and privatized military housing companies.
“With our country in the middle of a housing crisis, we need to ensure military families can find an affordable place to live and remove any existing barriers,” said Bennet. “This is the least we can do for our servicemembers and their loved ones who sacrifice so much for our country.”
The legislative package includes the following legislation:
The BAH Calculation Improvement Act: This bill would direct the Department of Defense to examine Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates nationwide and determine if BAH should be calculated more often, whether school districts can be included in BAH calculations, and whether the Department can develop a more effective allowance algorithm. Given the amount of publicly available data in the rental market, it is far past time for the Department to look at alternative methods of calculating BAH that are more responsive and transparent.
In addition to Bennet, this bill is co-sponsored by Senators Rapahel Warnock (D-Ga.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
This bill has been endorsed by: The Military Officers Association of America, Air Force Sergeants Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Family Advisory Network, and Blue Star Families.
Increasing Homeownership for Servicemembers Act: This bill would direct the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study to better understand the barriers to homeownership facing members of the military. With frequent moves and other potential obstacles, the opportunity to own a home and build family wealth is out of reach for many servicemembers.
In addition to Bennet, this bill is co-sponsored by Rapahel Warnock (D-Ga.), Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
This bill has been endorsed by: The Air Force Sergeants Association, Blue Star Families, and Military Family Advisory Network.
Senator Bennet has been a consistent advocate on affordable housing access for Colorado’s men and women in uniform, their families, and veterans. In January 2022, Bennet urged the Department of Defense (DoD) to protect Colorado servicemembers and military families from inadequate private base housing facilities. In June 2022, Bennet unveiled the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2022 to protect veterans, military servicemembers, and low-income families from housing discrimination. In 2016, Bennet secured $412,668 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Veterans Affairs Support Housing (VASH) program to help Colorado veterans and their families access affordable housing.