The 2024 Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, average rates for military service members will increase by 5.4%.
The Pentagon announced the 2024 BAH rates Dec. 14, 2023.
Rates will go up with the start of the new calendar year. The Defense Department estimated that it will pay about 1 million service members a total of $27.9 billion in BAH in 2024.
The DoD calculates BAH rates based on a uniformed service member's geographic duty location, paygrade and dependency status, along with housing costs in each local market. BAH is payable only when government quarters, such as barracks, are not provided or when a service member has dependents.
Each year, the department releases new BAH tables in mid-December for rates effective Jan. 1.
The increases in BAH come as service members anticipate their biggest military pay raise in decades, proposed in Congress' fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Expected to pass this month, the plan provides a 5.2% raise. A separate measure proposed in the House of Representatives would provide a 30% boost in pay for E-6s and below to ensure no service member makes less than the equivalent of $15 per hour. But an effort to do the same thing in the NDAA was unsuccessful, and the White House has also said it "strongly opposes" the overhaul while the administration is in the midst of a review of military pay.
2024 BAH Rates
The 5.4% average increase from 2023 to 2024 represents another larger-than-normal increase. The 2023 increase of 12.1% was up from 5.1% in 2022.
The department bases BAH on a combination of local costs for rent and utilities for various housing types. Any fluctuation of one or more of those factors affects BAH rates for that location.
Related: Learn more about BAH.
Individual Rate Protection
In locations where the BAH rate falls from one year to the next, service members already living there will have their BAH rate protected thanks to individual rate protection. The policy prevents the BAH rate from being lowered as long as the service member's status remains unchanged.
BAH Rates Below Actual Housing Cost
After a congressionally mandated change, BAH rates were slowly reduced over time to 5% below actual housing costs. That process was completed in 2019. The nearly one million troops who receive BAH will absorb $84 to $194 of their calculated housing costs monthly in 2024. Rates will continue to sit at 95% of actual costs going forward.
Related: How Is BAH Calculated?
BAH Does Not Cover Renter's Insurance
Another congressionally mandated change eliminated renter's insurance from the BAH calculation. That means troops are expected to pay out of pocket for such insurance. Privatized base housing companies also no longer provide that protection as part of on-base rental agreements.
Related: See your BAH rates
BAH and the GI Bill
The GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the BAH for an E-5 with dependents. MHA is based on the ZIP code for the school a service member attends. Unlike the BAH, which changes Jan. 1 of every year, the GI Bill MHA rates change Aug. 1, the beginning of the academic year. Read more about the GI Bill MHA rates.
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