In the past, if a married soldier decided not to relocate their family during an assignment, they could continue to draw a housing allowance to pay for housing for their dependents and reside in the barracks if sufficient space was available. This concept was known as the "geographic bachelor."
However, the Army has now announced an end to the geographic bachelor program for stateside Army installations and Army installations in Alaska and Hawaii. Married Soldiers who are voluntarily separated from their families will no longer be authorized space in Army barracks..
The new policy is a continued effort to provide quality housing for single Soldiers, and to create a better tool in matching up the programming and requirements for unaccompanied personnel housing.
Soldiers entitled to basic allowance for housing (BAH) at the “with dependent” rate, who are voluntarily separated from their family members, are no longer authorized assignment to permanent party barracks in the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska. The policy does not apply to overseas locations.
This change comes at a time when the Army is making numerous changes in the way it houses single Soldiers via the Holistic Barracks Strategy approved by the Secretary of the Army in January. The housing change for geographic bachelors supports the strategy initiative ensuring housing entitlements for single Soldiers can be met and all permanent unaccompanied personnel housing facility categories match the identified permanent party housing requirements.
In March, the Army authorized single staff sergeants to live off post and provided the Installation Management Agency with $250 million to repair the Army’s most deficient barracks under the Barracks Improvement Program.
Geographical bachelors in all rank categories will transition to local community housing through attrition whether caused by permanent change of station orders, renovations being made through BIP, deployment, or for the convenience of the government as determined by the local command. The local on-post Housing Services Office or the Community Housing Relocation and Referral Services is ready to assist Soldiers in securing affordable and safe off-post properties whether they chose to rent or purchase homes.