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Your Travel Assignment Housing Questions Answered with Tiffany Bennet, GHR Housing Coordinator

December 13, 2023

Moving to a new area can be daunting for nurses, allied health professionals, and other healthcare workers starting travel assignments.

At GHR, we ensure travelers have the necessary support for a stress-free adventure. Spearheading these efforts is Tiffany, our housing coordinator, with over a decade of experience in the travel industry and 6 years dedicated to GHR.

Below, Tiffany shares expert insights to dispel myths and offer practical guidance for travelers!

Q: What do you think is the #1 misconception travelers have about assignment housing?

Tiffany: “Many travelers believe that housing is automatically provided, paid for, or a lease is signed by the company. Actually, the housing stipend is part of the MLA (Meals and Lodging Allowance) stipend provided to cover the duplication of expenses. The amount you receive for housing is based on the cost of housing provided by the GSA site. It’s important to address concerns about finding suitable space or sharing accommodations as it’s about finding what suits each traveler’s individual needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation.”

Q: Let’s dive into the travel stipend. How does it work, what does it cover, what doesn’t it cover?

Tiffany: “The stipend is available for candidates meeting specific qualifications: living 50-75 miles away from their home address, duplicating living expenses for seven days a week during the contract duration, and being ready, willing, and able to work. The IRS allows the agency to pay part of the weekly pay as a non-taxable stipend because it duplicates living expenses. This stipend is a significant part of travel nursing, covering daily meals and lodging for the contract period. It’s paid weekly, and as long as you’re ready and able to work your weekly shifts, the full non-taxable amount should be received. Our goal is to help travelers find something unique within their budget, creating a home away from home.”

Q: A lot of travelers are intimidated by the act of securing housing. How does our team ease their worries and make the journey as seamless as possible?

Tiffany: “Oh, I totally get it! Securing housing in a new place can feel overwhelming, but we ensure our travelers know they are never alone in this process. We help before, during, and after assignments from budgeting and planning to transitioning out of the assignment, we support the entire journey.”

Q: What are some of the most creative housing accommodations you have witnessed from travelers on the GHR team?

Tiffany: “We’ve had incredibly creative and adventurous travelers, from those using RVs or camping in tents throughout their stay to one who transformed a van into a mobile home. The possibilities are endless, you can tell us what you are looking for and if it’s out there, we can find it! Our team has encountered all kinds of unique housing situations.”

Tiffany Bennet GHR Housing Coordinator

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Travel Assignment Housing FAQs

Yes, you’ll have to cover these expenses. However, the stipend provided is specifically aimed at assisting with duplicating expenses—covering extra living costs for temporary housing while maintaining a permanent home. This stipend covers meals and lodging and is paid weekly. Importantly, it’s a non-taxable part of your compensation, helping offset these essential expenses during your travel assignment.

The housing stipend’s calculation involves various factors. These include bill rates, the prevailing cost of lodging in the specific area of your assignment, and your preferences regarding payment structure (e.g., higher taxable hourly wages or a lower Meals and Lodging Allowance). The stipend is disbursed on a weekly basis and is based on established rates within the industry and the terms outlined in your signed contract.

Absolutely! We understand the importance of accommodating your family members or pets during your travel assignment. Our team is committed to finding housing options that cater to your unique needs, whether it involves your family or beloved furry companions.

Yes, indeed. While we provide guidance and options, the decision ultimately rests with you. We offer diverse choices tailored to your preferences, ensuring you feel comfortable and satisfied with your accommodations.

The majority of accommodations provided will come fully furnished. Whether it’s rooms, apartments, extended stay hotels, or Airbnbs, most options will include furnishings to facilitate a comfortable stay during your assignment.

While the stipend isn’t specifically allocated for gas, water, or other costs associated with a van or RV, it can be applied toward duplicating lodging expenses, such as renting an RV lot. This flexibility allows you to use the stipend to support your specific accommodation needs while on the road.

Furnished apartments and extended stay hotels are common choices! At GHR, we use services like Furnished Finder and Airbnb, along with long-standing relationships with accommodations around assignment locations, to help travelers choose their ideal place to stay.

The distance you choose to stay from your assignment location can vary. Some travelers prefer walking distance, while others are comfortable commuting. However, this decision is often influenced by the need to duplicate expenses and ensure you’re ready and able to fulfill your work obligations.

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