The Department of Defense has authorized a temporary increase to Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) stipends through December 2021. In an announcement Friday night, Sept. 24, DOD said military members at 56 housing areas are eligible to apply for the increase, which takes effect on Oct. 1.
“Rental housing market data collected by the Department of Defense from March-Aug. 2021 indicates that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on rental housing costs in the 56 affected markets,” DOD said. “Notably, low availability and turnover of rental housing stock during the spring and summer months led to rental cost increases in many locations.”
Active duty military members and full-time National Guardsmen in eligible areas should receive an email soon, notifying them of their eligibility and instructing them how to apply through their respective branches of service, according to the announcement.
DOD said the higher BAH rates will be replaced by 2022 BAH rates on January 1, 2022.
“Because not all segments of a housing market increase or decrease at the same rate, the BAH rates for calendar year 2022 may differ from the temporarily increased 2021 rates,” DOD said. “In some cases, 2022 BAH rates may be more than the temporarily increased 2021 BAH rates. In other cases, the 2022 BAH rates may be the same or may be less.”
BAH rate protection, which normally protects members from decreases in housing market costs, does not apply to temporary rate increases.
“Members should not assume these rate increases will continue into 2022,” the announcement said.