The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates increased an average 2.9% for 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense announced. The increase is an average for all areas, and actual rates are set by individual locations based on their current rental housing market surveys.
Note: On Sept. 24, the Department of Defense authorized a temporary increase to Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) stipends in 56 military housing areas through December 2021. Check the list here to see if you’re eligible to apply for the BAH increase.
The 2021 BAH increase went into effect Jan. 1, 2021, and service members saw the increase in their allowances Jan. 15, 2021. The BAH provides uniformed service members with equitable housing compensation based on local costs and markets in the U.S.
The allowance covers 95% of housing expenses while service members pay the remaining 5% out of pocket. The out-of-pocket expense amounts included in BAH rates vary by grade and dependency status, and range from $70-$158 monthly.
2022 BAH Calculator
* Enter Duty zip code and not residence zip code. BAH rates are based on duty zip code.
** Click here for the OHA calculator (Overseas Housing Allowance calculator)
FY2012 – FY2019 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Comparison
Not all locations are seeing increases in BAH because the allowance is based 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 costs of living have higher BAH rates to offset those costs. Small or rural cities have lower living costs and are assigned a lower BAH as a result.
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.
2021 BAH Rates by The Numbers
Areas with 10 Highest BAH Rates*
- San Francisco, CA (MHA: CA019)
- Santa Clara County, CA (MHA: CA044)
- Westchester County, NY (MHA: NY349)
- Long Island, NY (MHA: NY218)
- Nantucket, MA (MHA: MA119)
- New York City, NY (MHA: NY219)
- Marin/Sonoma, CA (MHA: CA027)
- Boston, MA (MHA: MA120)
- Oakland, CA (MHA: CA018)
- Florida Keys, FL (MHA: FL069)
Areas with 10 Lowest BAH Rates*
- Terre Haute, IN (MHA: IN338)
- Fort Leonard Wood, MO (MHA: MO163)
- Youngstown, OH (MHA: OH233)
- Anniston/Fort McClelland, AL (MHA: AL001)
- Charleston, WV (MHA: WV323)
- Sault Ste Marie, MI (MHA: MI145)
- Saginaw, MI (MHA: MI156)
- Fort Chaffee/Fort Smith, AR (MHA: AR012)
- Saint Joseph, MO (MHA: MO344)
- Fort Still/Lawton, OK (MHA: OK237)
*Average across pay grades. Individual pay grades by area may rank lower or higher.
2021 BAH National Cost‐Sharing Amounts
The table below shows computed cost‐sharing (out‐of‐pocket) amounts based on a reduction of five percent of the national mean for each pay grade.
|Pay Grade||With Dependents||Without Dependents|
*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.
Historical BAH Rate Increases
|Year||Proposed Increase/Decrease||Actual Increase|
|2021||2.90% – 3.70%||2.90%|