DoD Releases 2024 BAH Rates
The Department of Defense official site is updated with rates for the 2024 Basic Allowance for Housing. Rates increase in 2024, but as we’ll discover below, the actual rate you are paid depends on your with-dependents status, rank, and how expensive your housing market is.
Higher BAH Rates in 2024
Basic Allowance for Housing rates will go up in 2024 by an average of 5.4 percent. This affects approximately one million troops and their families, and nearly $30 billion in BAH benefits will be paid in 2024.
Get Your BAH Rate
You can use a BAH rate calculator to determine the Basic Allowance for Housing amount at a given zip code or installation. Your BAH rate depends on your rank and whether you have dependents.
How BAH Rates Are Set
Every year, the DoD gathers rental cost data for a large number of housing markets in the United States. It compares this information with data gathered from surveys, the U.S. Census, and military bases to determine how BAH should be set for the new year.
BAH is compiled using what the DoD describes as “current-year housing cost data.”
What to Know About BAH
It’s important to know that establishing BAH means using typical market rent and utility costs. BAH is NOT calculated based on how much a mortgage payment is or how expensive it is to own a home in a given housing market.
BAH may be used to pay a mortgage, but it is not explicitly intended to offset the costs of home ownership. Rentals are used as the benchmark.
The 2024 Basic Allowance for Housing rates are set assuming a cost-sharing situation between the DoD and the service member. At press time BAH is not intended to cover 100% of the rent and utility cost of living in a given area.
Servicemembers are expected to cost-share at 5% of the national average on a sliding scale based on rank and military pay grade.
The DoD official site says servicemembers’ out-of-pocket costs in this area “range from $85 to $194 monthly for the 2024 rates. Even with this cost-sharing element, the overall military pay and benefits package remains competitive and healthy.”
BAH Rate Protection
An underappreciated feature of the Basic Allowance for Housing? What the DoD calls “individual rate protection” for servicemembers. If you have “uninterrupted Basic Allowance for Housing eligibility in a given location,” you won’t see a reduction in BAH even if market conditions change.
The DoD’s view on this policy is that BAH rate protection is meant for troops “who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract” meant to avoid penalizing those in long-term leases “…if the area’s housing costs decrease.”
Read more: 2024 Military Pay Chart
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.