Budget cuts could impact Tampa Bay military families

6:26 PM, Feb 24, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The Department of Defense is proposing major cuts to the military, from shrinking the Army to shrinking the housing budget for servicemen.

It's estimated MacDill Air Force Base has an economic impact on the area of $5 billion a year. That money fuels restaurants, shops, and the housing market -- a housing market that realtor Manuela Woodrum says is tight.

See Also: Military cuts proposed in 2015 budget

"I assist military families, because many times the base housing list is way too long and they have no choice but to live off base," says Woodrum.

Looking at a list of available homes in the area as well as the allotted money given to military families for housing, Woodrum says many times she has to show houses in neighborhoods outside Tampa.

"Brandon, Riverview, Ruskin," Woodrum says.

This causes military families to put extra time on the road, and less time with their families.

"When you have a basic housing allowance, when it's $1,400 a month, you don't want to get house for $1,400 because you have to calculate drive time and gas to drive. That adds up," says Woodrum.

So when the Department of Defense proposed cuts to military members' housing allowance, Woodrum was upset.

"Some are on a tight budget. Cuts should be made somewhere else, not where it affects military families," says Woodrum.

MacDill did not want to comment on camera but Public Affairs Officer Patrick Gargan did send out this statement:

"At this point, it is too early to know how the proposed budget would affect service members assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing. We are committed to accomplishing our mission while supporting our service members and their families through these fiscally challenging times. We will continue our efforts to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and sincerely appreciate the continued support of the Tampa community."

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