JBLM supports service members, families struggling with off base housing payments
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of JBLM ) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Life in the military can be challenging and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have only made it more difficult. For some service members, veterans and their families, the added worry of civilian layoffs and limited childcare have impacted the financial stability of some households.

In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act established a national eviction moratorium to prevent an excessive number of evictions due to the inability to pay housing costs on time. The eviction ban does not negate delinquent rent payments. Under the CARES Act, renters are still obligated to pay but they cannot be evicted for lack of payment or charged late fees.

For those struggling with finding and paying for housing off base, Joint Base Lewis-McChord offers a variety of services through the JBLM Housing Services office, the Army Emergency Relief and the Air Force Aid Society.

All married and single active-duty service members assigned to JBLM, who are in receipt of basic allowance for housing, may be eligible to participate in the Rental Partnership Program.

“The RPP helps JBLM service members and their families find affordable, off-base housing,” said Judy Sak, JBLM housing services office branch chief. “The intent is to help ease the financial stress of moves and other major transitions by encouraging landlords to provide a five percent or more discount on monthly rent, waive security deposits and waive fees for credit checks.”

For those struggling with rent and security deposits or emergency financial situations, AER and AFAS can offer assistance through grants, low interest rate loans and combinations of the two.

“Our team offers support to active duty, retired, medically retired, survivor families and more,” said Jennifer Snyder, JBLM AER specialist. “Members using AER may be eligible for financial assistance for initial rent and deposit, utility deposits, phone and other costs associated with obtaining housing.”

In the event that a service member of their family cannot pay for their rent or mortgage, both AER and AFAS may be able to help if the missed payment is due to large unexpected bills such as medical or funeral expenses.

“The AFAS program offers many of the same opportunities as AER but is more tailored to Air Force personnel and their families,” said Diana Burr, JBLM AFAS officer. “We’re committed to providing emergency financial assistance to eligible Airmen and their families. Whether the need is great or small, we are standing by to help.”

For more information about RPP on JBLM, visit: https://home.army.mil/lewis-mcchord/index.php/my-Joint-Base-Lewis-Mcchord/all-services/directorate-public-works/rental-partnership-program

For more information about AER on JBLM, visit: https://jblm.armymwr.com/programs/AER

For more information about AFAS on JBLM, visit: https://jblm.armymwr.com/programs/air-force-aid-society

JBLM News: https://www.army.mil/jblm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord: https://home.army.mil/lewis-mcchord/index.php