2021 BAH Basic Allowance for Housing Rates

Updated: February 18, 2022
In this Article

    Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for 2021 increased by 2.9% on average. 2.9% represents an average for all areas. Actual rates vary by location based on the respective data points collected by the Department of Defense (DoD).

    The new BAH rates go into effect on Jan. 1., 2021 and service members will see their first increase on their Jan. 15 pay.

    See 2024 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates here.

    Determining Your BAH Rate

    BAH rates depend on pay grade, zip code and dependent status. The easiest way to determine our BAH is by utilizing the BAH calculator here. You can also view the rates in chart format in the links below:

    FY2016 – FY2021 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Comparison

    YearActual Increase
    20212.90%
    20202.8%
    20192.55%
    20180.7%
    20172.4%
    20163.4%
    20150.5%

    2021 BAH Rates by The Numbers

    Not all locations received increases in BAH because the DoD bases the allowance on the duty station’s ZIP code.

    For veterans using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, BAH is based on the school’s ZIP code and corresponds with that location’s cost of living. Cities with higher living costs typically have higher BAH rates than cities with a lower cost of living.

    Areas with 10 Highest BAH Rates*

    1. San Francisco, CA (MHA: CA019)
    2. Santa Clara County, CA (MHA: CA044)
    3. Westchester County, NY (MHA: NY349)
    4. Long Island, NY (MHA: NY218)
    5. Nantucket, MA (MHA: MA119)
    6. New York City, NY (MHA: NY219)
    7. Marin/Sonoma, CA (MHA: CA027)
    8. Boston, MA (MHA: MA120)
    9. Oakland, CA (MHA: CA018)
    10. Florida Keys, FL (MHA: FL069)

    Areas with 10 Lowest BAH Rates*

    1. Terre Haute, IN (MHA: IN338)
    2. Fort Leonard Wood, MO (MHA: MO163)
    3. Youngstown, OH (MHA: OH233)
    4. Anniston/Fort McClelland, AL (MHA: AL001)
    5. Charleston, WV (MHA: WV323)
    6. Sault Ste Marie, MI (MHA: MI145)
    7. Saginaw, MI (MHA: MI156)
    8. Fort Chaffee/Fort Smith, AR (MHA: AR012)
    9. Saint Joseph, MO (MHA: MO344)
    10. Fort Still/Lawton, OK (MHA: OK237)

    *Average across pay grades. Individual pay grades by area may rank lower or higher.

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    2021 BAH National Cost‐Sharing Amounts

    BAH covers 95% of housing and utilities. The table below represents the 5% in estimated out-of-pocket costs.

    Pay GradeWith DependentsWithout Dependents
    E01$86$70
    E02$86$70
    E03$86$70
    E04$86$70
    E05$95$84
    E06$104$89
    E07$107$91
    E08$112$99
    E09$119$101
    W01$91$71
    W02$107$92
    W03$114$102
    W04$119$107
    W05$123$110
    O01E$109$96
    O02E$114$100
    O03E$122$109
    O01$91$81
    O02$99$89
    O03$113$103
    O04$131$117
    O05$143$123
    O06$150$134
    O07$158$145

    *The cost-sharing amounts are based on 5% of the National Mean BAH Rate for each paygrade. These amounts are calculated IAW Title 37 Sec. 403.

    Additional BAH Notes

    The BAH rates affect all military members, including veterans using the GI Bill. Rate protection ensures members currently living in locations set to receive a decrease continue to receive the old BAH rate. New, lower BAH rates are applied to troops moving into an area and for those who change dependency status or rank.

    The uniformed services include the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Space Force, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officer Corps.

    Written by Veteran.com Team