2013 Basic Housing Allowance Rates Announced
The Department of Defense has released the 2013 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates. BAH rates will increase an average of 3.8percent when the new rates take effect on January 1, 2013. An estimated $20 billion will be paid to approximately one million ServiceMembers in 2013.
Average increases in BAH for members with dependents are approximately $60 per month. A typical mid-grade enlisted member with dependents, for example, will find his/her BAH about $60 per month higher than last year, while a junior officer with dependents will receive about $55 per month more than last year.
An integral part of the BAH program is the provision of individual rate protection to all members. No matter what happens to measured housing costs, an individual member in a given location will not see his/her BAH rate decrease. This ensures that members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if the area's housing costs decrease.
Data are collected annually for over 350 Military Housing Areas (MHAs) in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. An important part of the BAH process is the cooperation from the services and local military housing offices in the data collection effort. Input from local commands is used to determine in what neighborhoods data is collected and to direct the data collection effort towards adequate apartment complexes and individual housing units.
Three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) and average renter's insurance. Total Housing Costs are developed for six housing profiles (based on dwelling type and number of bedrooms) in each MHA. BAH rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents.
The Department is committed to the preservation of a compensation and benefit structure that provides members with a suitable and secure standard of living to sustain a trained, experienced, and ready force in the future.
For more information on BAH, including the 2013 BAH rates and 2013 BAH rate component percentage breakout, visit https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm. Service members can calculate their BAH payment by using the BAH calculator at: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm.