2.28.2005

TLA is a PITA

TLA is temporary lodging allowance. Which is different than TLE - temporary lodging expense. Yeah, I know. TLA is given to those in OCONUS locations (outside the continental united states). TLE is given to those in CONUS locations.

With TLA, you are given the money in 10 day increments. So every 10 days you have to settle out your bill with temp lodging (or whatever hotel the Army has put you up in if temp lodging is filled up). Settling involves heading over to housing, filling out paperwork, getting a voucher for payment, taking that to the hotel/temp lodging, paying them, and then waiting 24-72 hours for the Army to reimburse you. Every 10 days.

Our room(s) runs $195 or so per night. So for 10 days, we're talking $2000. I don't know about YOU, but we don't necessarily HAVE $2000 just lying around. And what if you don't use/have a credit card (if you're following Dave Ramsey's teachings)?

And, according to the TLA website :

"Q7. How soon is a member required to start looking for permanent housing? (See par. U9202-A.)

A7. The member is required to begin aggressively seeking quarters as soon as possible after arrival. At the end of the first 15- or fewer-day period, the designated overseas commander has the member's case reviewed to determine the progress being made toward obtaining permanent housing. If the member's efforts appear deficient, the member is reminded of responsibilities in the matter. Unexcused failure to comply with the diligent search requirement leads TLA entitlement forfeiture."

That's fine but our HHG are not supposed to arrive until the end of March. And the Army here has stopped loaning out furniture to people living off post. SO I can't say I'm going to "aggressively" seek out a rental only to have to sleep on the floor because I don't have a BED. Nor am I going to buy ANOTHER air mattress (or 2) either. There are better things to spend money on around here.

So, I DARE any "overseas commander" to "remind" me about our "responsibilities" with regard to obtaining permanent housing at this point in time. Bring it on...

On the housing front, there are some promising prospects. We are looking at 1 place tomorrow and 4 places Wednesday including a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom WITH a loft (!) and a 2 car garage. Woohoo! A friend of McGyver's swears he won't live on the south end of the island due to traffic. We're from Los Angeles...we can handle traffic. Obviously I'd prefer to live closer to post to cut down on the commute but down south, you can get MUCH more house for your money. They are newer, bigger, and most have central a/c AND garages AND washers and dryers. It's a tradeoff. Besides, they are closer to that wonderful NEX.

Keep your fingers crossed that we find something that not only meets our needs but some of our wants too!

Aloha!

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