Factoring in a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

BAH is an allowance given to members of the military assigned to permanent duty within the 50 States, but not furnished with government housing. The BAH is based on local civilian housing cost, including rent, average utilities and renter's insurance.

The amount of the BAH is adjusted by duty location, pay grade and dependents. Your rate can rise over time to reflect fluctuations in housing costs in your area. As long as you do not experience a change in status, your rate should not decrease.

Things to Remember

  • A BAH does not guarantee that you won't have out-of-pocket housing expenses. Because it is based on several factors, including median housing costs in your duty area, there may be a gap between the compensation provided and what you actually spend.
  • The BAH rate is linked to the ZIP code of your U.S. duty location, not your residence. Make sure to take this into consideration if you plan on living in a ZIP code other than the one where your base is located.
  • Members of the military serving overseas may qualify for an Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) or for a BAH for U.S.-based dependents, depending on their circumstances.

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