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Basic Allowance for Housing

How Rates are Determined

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Beginning in January 2005, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates are designed to cover 100 percent of the averagerental costs for the type of dwelling authorized for the specific paygrade (rank).

The Department of Defense (DOD) employs Runzheimer International to collect the nation-wide housing cost data that they use to compute BAH. Additionally, DOD obtains current data from multiple sources, employing a "checks and balances" approach to ensure reliability and accuracy.

Current residential vacancies, identified in local newspapers and real estate rental listings, are an important source of data. Vacancies are selected at random, and subjected to a screening process. Telephone interviews establish the availability and exact location of each unit sampled. DOD has designed the sample to obtain a statistical confidence level of 95% or higher.

DOD also contacts apartment and real estate management companies to identify units for rental pricing. It is not uncommon for DOD to consult real estate professionals in a locality to obtain confirmation and additional sources of data. Where available, DOD contacts fort/post/base housing referral offices, to tap local military expertise and gain insights into the local concerns of military.

Finally, DoD and the Services conduct on-site evaluations at various locations to confirm and ensure reliability and accuracy of the cost data.

The below charts show what BAH rates are based on for each military paygrade:

BAH With Dependents

    E-1 through E-4 - The midpoint between the average rental cost of a 2 bedroom apartment and a 2 bedroom townhouse.

    E-5 - Average rental cost of a 2 bedroom townhouse.

    E-6 - Averve rental cost of a 3 bedroom townhouse.

    E-7 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 36 percent of the cost difference between a townhouse and three-bedroom home.

    E-8 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 75 percent of the cost difference between a townhouse and a three-bedroom home.

    E-9 - Average rental cost of a three-bedroom home, plus 16 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom and four-bedroom home.

    W-1 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 1 percent of the cost difference between a townhouse and a three-bedroom home.

    W-2 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 52 percent of the cost difference between a townhouse and a three-bedroom home.

    W-3 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom home.

    W-4 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom home plus 22 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom home and a four-bedroom home.

    W-5 - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom home plus 48 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom home and a four-bedroom home.

    O-1E - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 44 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom townhouse and a three bedroom home.

    O-2E - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 93 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom townhouse and a three bedroom home.

    O-3E - Average rental cost for a three-bedroom townhouse plus 26 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom home and a four-bedroom home.

    O-1 - Average rental cost for a two-bedroom townhouse plus 11 percent of the cost difference between a two-bedroom townhouse and a three-bedroom townhouse.

    O-2 - Average rental cost for a two-bedroom townhouse plus 98 percent of the cost difference between a two-bedroom townhouse and a three-bedroom townhouse.

    O-3 - Average rental cost of a three-bedroom townhouse plus 98 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom townhouse and a three-bedroom home.

    O-4 - Average rental cost of a three-bedroom home plus 58 percent of the cost difference between a three-bedroom home and a four-bedroom home.

    O-5 through O-7 - Average rental cost of a 4-bedroom home.

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