Lauren Taylor 0

SAN DIEGO MILITARY COLA!

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In the last 7 years the cost of living in Southern California has significantly out paced the adjustments made to military pay and BAH. Across all pay grades our military families are struggling to provide a safe and reasonable standard of living for their families. Reliable and cost effective childcare for their children and many rely on WIC and other social programs to meet the MINIMUM needs of their families.



While other high cost duty stations receive COLA pay in addition to salary and BAH, our San Diego families continue fall behind month after month.



**The responses below are from a survey conducted of over 1,500 service members from varying rank and pay grade.



"We have lived in Japan twice, Hawaii and Norway and now SD. The housing here is unlike anywhere else. The cost of living is way more expensive then overseas".



Families are forced to make difficult life decisions due to their lack of monthly support.



"We have decided to delay having children because we wouldn't be able to afford a home large enough for a child/children. Currently living in 800 sf which is what we could get with our BAH".



Our service members are expected to spend extraordinary amounts of time away from our families due to training, school and deployments. But as the cost of living and housing price increases some are forced to commute over 2 hours a day to find affordable housing.



"My spouse is stationed at Miramar and we've chosen to live all the way up in Temecula because we simply can't afford to live in San Diego county. Groceries are more expensive, gas prices are higher and the overall cost of living in southern CA is astronomical compared to other areas of the country".



This week the Navy announced that an additional 15,000 military families will be coming to San Diego in the years to come and we can no longer suffer in silence. The struggles that await these families will only grow exponentially as San Diego's housing inventory grows more scarce due to the increased demand.



"As a real estate professional I have seen a significant decrease in the quantity of life of our military families in San Diego. The homes they are able to afford have become less stable, the neighborhoods less safe, and schools less qualified. It cannot continue on this trajectory."



Our San Diego military families need COLA pay. We respectfully request a full and complete audit of costs associated with Southern California living. This audit should also include an ample survey of San Diego service members and their dependants.

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