2018 BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) Rates

Updated: March 23, 2021

Table of Contents

    The 2018 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate increase will see on average a .7 percent increase but will be far short of the proposed at 2.9.%. The .7% increase will be effective on Jan. 1, 2018 and service members would see their first increase in their Jan. 15th, 2018 pay. The actual BAH increase will vary by area but on average the increase will be about $10 per month.

    The 2018 BAH rates tables can be found here.

    Find out the proposed 2019 BAH rates.


    The BAH program includes a plan to slow growth, which will eventually achieve a 5% out-of-pocket cost for living expenses. For 2018, the rate will cover 96 percent of service members’ housing costs, a one percent drop from last year. BAH used to cover 99% of housing expenses but by 2019, service members will be paying 5% of their housing expenses out of pocket.

    Not all locations will see an increase, as BAH is based on the duty station zip code, or school zip code in the case of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, and thus corresponds with the cost of living of that zip code. For instance, cities with a very high cost of living such as Honolulu, Chicago, and Los Angeles have a very high BAH rate to help off-set those costs. Smaller cities such as Tacoma or Colorado Springs have a lower cost of living and therefore a lower BAH.

    BAH Calculator

    2022 BAH Calculator

    Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

    Enter Duty zip code and not residence zip code. BAH rates are based on duty zip code.


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    FY2012 – FY2018 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Comparison

    Year Proposed Increase/Decrease Actual Increase
    2018 2.90% 0.7%
    2017 2.90% 2.4%
    2016 1.30% 3.4%
    2015 -5.00% 0.5%
    2014 4.20% 5.00%
    2013 4.20% 3.80%
    2012 4.20% 2.0%

    BAH Changes Timeline

    Late 1990s
    Defense Department began increasing housing allowance rates to bring them in line with actual rental market housing costs across the country and to reduce members’ out-of-pocket housing costs. Prior to this initiative, a military member’s housing allowance covered only about 80 percent of their full housing costs, leaving an out-of-pocket cost of up to 20 percent.

    By 2005
    Housing allowance rates were increased enough so that the median out-of-pocket “off-base” housing cost was completely eliminated for members by pay grade, location, and dependency status. The Military Services also entered into numerous public-private ventures (PPVs) designed to eliminate inadequate government housing by leveraging private sector financing, expertise, and innovation to provide necessary housing faster and more efficiently than traditional Military Construction processes would allow.

    FY 2015
    Authorized the monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates to be set at 99 percent (vs. 100 percent) of the median rental housing costs. 99 percent of service members’ housing costs are covered.

    FY 2016
    Authorized monthly BAH rates to be set at 95 percent (vs. 99 percent) of the median rental housing costs; phased in 1.0 percent increments per year over 4 years. 98 percent of service members’ housing costs are covered.

    FY 2017

    97 percent of service members’ housing costs are covered.

    FY 2018

    96 percent of service members’ housing costs are covered.

    FY 2019

    95 percent of service members’ housing costs are set to be covered.

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    Written by MilitaryBenefits

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