SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Jan. 24, 2014) -- During the Jan. 15 town hall, several families who live on base posted questions surrounding the 2014 increase in the basic allowance for housing (BAH) benefit.

The intent of this article is to address some misperceptions surrounding BAH and how it is used by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii?'s housing partner, Island Palm Communities (IPC).

Most important for residents to understand is that 100 percent of their BAH supports IPC?'s property and maintenance operations (including an industry standard fixed fee for management). Operating costs range from garbage and recycling pick-up and light bulbs in homes, to utilities, capital replacement, renovations and construction of new homes and amenities.

Any increases in BAH are reinvested back into the company for future capital replacement, renovations and other community needs identified by IPC and garrison leadership.

The intent of the housing program is to address substandard housing conditions and help young military families secure adequate housing today and 40 years from now. Reinvesting increases in BAH will help ensure this intent.

A few Facebook town hall participants inquired if the increase in BAH would result in additional amenities, such as playgrounds or more services.

This query is not an easy question to answer, especially since BAH is trying to keep up with the rising costs of doing business. However, IPC is always seeking ways to enhance or provide important services and amenities that can have a positive impact on the well-being of families.

During IPC?'s budgeting process, IPC and the garrison command look closely at the areas in most need and prioritize them accordingly.

Ideas or suggestions about how IPC can enhance or improve your neighborhood are welcome, and the command encourages residents to reach out to their IPC property team.