The Overseas Housing Allowance Utility Expenses Survey takes place each year on behalf of the Allowances Branch of the Defense Travel Management Office, Department of Defense.

This year, service members in Italy may take the survey from July 1 to July 31.

The survey is designed to collect utility and recurring maintenance expense data incurred by uniformed service members stationed overseas who reside in private housing. The data service members provide assists in determining the Utility/Recurring Maintenance Allowance paid to service members in the country surveyed. All those who receive OHA should participate in the survey no later than close of business July 31.

In 2018, the survey also includes the "moving in" expense survey for the Moving In Housing Allowances (MIHA) miscellaneous expenses which is done every three years.

All military personnel residing in private rental quarters are encouraged to participate in this survey, as future allowances will be set based on the results. Low participation will risk a decrease, less money in paychecks to pay utilities and recurring expenses. The Moving In Expense portion is also important because it's only looked at every three years, and this is a chance to increase amounts based on personnel input.

The survey takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and spouses may also take the survey in place of the sponsor. However, they will need the sponsor's Department of Defense identification number, written on the back of the sponsor's CAC card.

Respondents are expected to answer questions about expenses for electricity, heating fuel, water, trash removal and sewer fees. To complete the utility portion of the surveys, service members should have actual bills or records of utility and maintenance expenses for the last 12 months. They will be expected to compute a monthly average for each of these expenses.

Respondents may take the survey at home with their spouses and can save an unfinished survey and complete it at a later time.

To take the survey, go online to https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/ohaSurvey.cfm?ID=jul-utilmiha/. This is the only link to be used by Italy's survey respondents. The survey is available online only; no paper copies are available.

Anyone with questions or needing assistance should not hesitate to contact the Housing Division in Vicenza, DSN 637-7950/7951, comm. 0444-61-7950/7951.