Basic Housing Allowance rates for 2013
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) provides uniformed Service members equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets within the United States when government quarters are not provided. A uniformed service member stationed outside the U.S., including U.S. territories and possessions, not furnished government housing, is eligible for Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA).
The 2013 BAH rates took effect January 1, 2013 with an increase of an average of 3.8 percent. The updated BAH Rates are the largest average increase in four years according to defense officials. However, despite the overall average increase, approximately one in five locations will see a rate decrease. Members with dependents are seeing an average increase in BAH of approximately $60 per month. Veterans and their families using the Post-9/11 GI Bill are also seeing an average increase in their housing benefit, which is based on the BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents.
In areas where rates have decreased, the decrease applies only to members newly reporting to those locations. Members are protected by individual rate protection which ensures that those already assigned to a given location will not see their BAH rate decrease, however, they will receive the increase if the rate goes up. This assures that members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if the area’s housing costs decrease.
Three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) and average renter’s insurance.
Total housing costs are calculated for six housing profiles (based on dwelling type and number of bedrooms) in each military housing area. Basic Allowance for Housing rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents.
BAH enables Service members to live off-base comparably to their civilian counterparts, but it is not designed to cover all housing costs for all members. Actual expenses may be higher or lower based on a member’s choice of housing and where they live. Because members are free to make housing choices that best suit their needs, a member may choose to use all their housing allowance to rent for more expensive housing close to the duty station, or have a longer commute for either a larger or less expensive house in an outlying area.
BAH is an allowance, and is therefore not subject to income taxes.
You may also view past BAH rate tables: