WIESBADEN, Germany (Feb. 27, 2015) -- U.S. Army Europe is asking Service members in Germany, who reside off-post in privately leased or rental housing, to take part in the annual housing survey, March 1-31.

The survey is instrumental in ensuring accurate housing allowance rates for military Families living off-post.

This survey is critical for ensuring Overseas Housing Allowance rates are properly set at overseas locations and directly affects the amount of housing allowance paid to Service members, said Randall Ries, the Germany country allowance coordinator in U.S. Army Europe's G1, or personnel office.

"Taking the survey allows Service members to have a direct impact on the amount of utility and recurring maintenance allowance they will draw as part of their overseas housing allowance," Ries said.

The Defense Travel Management Office will begin its month long overseas housing allowance utility survey March 1.

"Individual responses to questions are kept confidential," Ries said. "Last year Service members saw a $14 a month increase to the utility allowance. In 2012, we had a $59 increase, and in 2013, we had a $17 increase."

Homeowners and those sharing rent with another Service member are exempt from taking the survey. Spouses are authorized to take the survey if the Service member is deployed or unavailable.

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About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.