The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is based on geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. The intent of BAH is to provide uniformed service members housing compensation based on housing costs based on the local market. BAH is only payable when government quarters are not provided.
For your personalized pay and allowance computation check out our Military Pay Calculator.
Each year the BAH tables are released between December 15 and January 1.
Current BAH Rates:
The overall average military BAH rates across the country increased over the last year. As noted above, BAH rates are based on the combination of local costs for rent, utilities and renter’s insurance for various housing types. Any fluctuation of one or more of those factors in a given location will affect BAH rates for that location.
Any active duty servicemembers who see a drop in BAH for their locality will have their BAH protected, thanks to "individual rate protection," which was adopted by Congress over a decade ago. Individual rate protection prevents the decrease of a BAH rate as long as the status of a servicemember remains unchanged. This means if you don't transfer to another unit, your BAH won't decrease, it can only increase.
BAH And The GI Bill
Your GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the BAH for an E-5 with dependents. Your MHA is based on the ZIP code for your school. Unlike the BAH which can change on January 1 of every year, the GI Bill MHA rate will increase on August 1 (the beginning date of the academic year). More details.
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