The 2016 BAH rates increased on average by 3.4% or approximately $54 per month. The new rates took effect on January 1, 2016. While the BAH rates will be increasing for many service members this year, the BAH program also includes a plan to slow growth, which will eventually achieve a 5% out-of-pocket cost for living expenses. By 2019, service members will be paying 5% of their housing expenses out of pocket.
This is building on the 1% out-of-pocket adjustment authorized in the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The FY 2016 NDAA slowed the annual BAH increases by an additional 1% this year and will gradually decrease up to 4% over the next 2 to 3 years, until rates cover 95 percent of housing rental and utilities costs.
The Pentagon will maintain individual rate protection for service members so no one will see a reduction in their current BAH. Service members have individual rate protection against any decrease and only newly reporting members would receive their location’s BAH 2016 rate, or receive the new rate upon a PCS move to a new stateside location.
The BAH rate increase is an average increase across all locations. BAH rates vary by location and not everyone will see the same increase, if any at all. Actual increases will be based on a “by location” housing market analysis conducted for the Department of Defense and a food cost index prepared by the Department of Agriculture, both of which are measured much closer to the effective date to ensure they best capture the actual cost impact on the service member.
Veterans are exempt from the BAH reduction and thus Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients will not see monthly stipends reduced.
|2012-2016 BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) Comparison|
|Year||Proposed Increase/Decrease||Actual Increase|
|2015||– 5.00% *||0.5%|
2016 BAH Charts
The BAH rate increases are for all branches of the military, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserves forces where applicable.