Military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Rates
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Rates are paid to all military service members residing off base/post and the monthly stipend is intended to cover the expense of renting an apartment or home or purchasing a residence in the local community outside of the installation. BAH rates are based on a military members pay grade. The allowance is intended to cover rent/mortgage & utilities in the local area.
BAH Rates by Rank/Grade
Housing allowance rates are set based on the service members pay grade (not rank) which can be misleading. There is also a benefit for prior enlisted officers which entitles them to a higher housing allowance with an identifier at the end ie: O1-E, O2-E, O3-E, O4-E, etc. “E” meaning prior Enlisted service. Check BAH rate information below using the BAH rate calculator link:
Military BAH Rate Query – Calculator
The most up to date housing rate information can be queried using the Department of Defense BAH Rate calculator which resets every calendar year (note every fiscal year, note: DoD Per Diem Rates reset every fiscal year). Go to TDY Lodging to find out the latest information on the current and upcoming fiscal year’s Military BAH Rate Calculator and COLA information.
Upcoming Changes in the BAH Rate
Based on recent changes in the Department of Defense regarding pay and benefits, indicators suggest that the Military BAH Rates may be the next overhaul along with military retirement pay, healthcare, and cutbacks on other military spending projects. Recent proposals have not gained much attention or support by members of Congress (although unpopular proposed Military Retirement Pay Changes by Congress may be inevitable).
BAH Rates reset every Calendar Year
Every year on January 1st the new housing rates take affect which can be a nice new boost to start the year (if rates increase). Military BAH rate decreases have a protection clause meaning that if rates go down for a certain area it will not affect current members at that pay grade (only military members that move up to a pay grade during their next promotion), so there is protection in the event of a BAH rate decrease. Many Military service members are eager to live off base and purchase a home for use as a primary residence, or for later use as an investment rental property by taking advantage of their VA Home Loan Benefits & Eligibility which allows for a home purchase with no money down.