The 2017 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate has increased on average by 2.4% or approximately $41 per month, according to a Defense Department news release. The new BAH rates took effect on January 1, 2017 and service members will see their first increase on their January 15th pay.
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. For 2017, the rate will cover 97 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 this 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 New York City, Boston, and San Francisco have a very high BAH rate to help off-set those costs. Smaller cities such as Pensacola or Lejeune have a lower cost of living and therefore a lower BAH.
FY2012 – FY2017 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Comparison
|Year||Proposed Increase/Decrease||Actual Increase|