Skip to comments.Military Update: Average rise in stateside housing allowances: 2.4 percent
Posted on 12/18/2016 5:21:00 AM PST by SandRat
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) paid to a million service members living off base in the United States will climb an average of 2.4 percent Jan. 1, or about $41 a month. Actual increases for individual BAH recipients will vary by Military Housing Area, pay grade, and dependency status.
For a third straight year, BAH adjustments will not quite keep pace with the average rise in rent and utility costs, as the Department of Defense sticks to a five-year plan to trim the cost of stateside housing allowances gradually. The dampening of rates will continue until 2019 when recipients will be paying five percent of their off-base rental expenses out of pocket.
The three percent member cost share in 2017 will leave rates short of covering average rent and utility costs by a range of $37 to $85 a month, depending on individual circumstance, officials explained.
The impact on individuals will vary depending on housing choices. Those who rent a median-priced property will pay a small amount above their BAH rate, officials explained. Members who choose to economize in their housing choices may have all their housing expenses covered.
Many years ago, when BAH was first established for setting stateside housing allowances, rates covered only 80 percent of members rental costs. Congress gradually phased out that 20 percent cost-sharing formula. From 2005 until 2014, BAH was sustained high enough to cover full rental costs.
With the 2011 Budget Control Act and its mindless sequestration formula holding down military spending, however, Defense leaders began to press Congress to approve tighter controls on personnel spending including a slowdown in BAH increases. Current law allows a dampening of BAH rate increases by a percentage point a year until the allowance covers only 95 percent of rental costs, leaving members to cover the rest with their basic pay or other family income, or to rent less expensive housing.
Even with these modest adjustments to the computation method for setting Basic Allowance for Housing rates, members will still have sufficient means to obtain suitable housing, Defense pay officials said in statement on the new rates.
Beyond the special dampening, rates are reset annually based on median market rents and average utility costs (electricity, heat, water and sewer) for six housing profiles, which is a combination of dwelling type (apartments, townhouses or single family homes) and number of bedrooms. Individual rates across more than 300 housing areas nationwide reflect local costs for the type of housing deemed appropriate for each pay grade, and for both those with and without dependents.
The BAH program in 2017 will cost $21 billion. Members can find their individual rate online at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
In 2017, rates will fall in 82 housing area or 27 percent of the total. A rate protection provision, however, wont BAH payments to fall for members already assigned to an area unless their pay grade is lowered or their dependency status changed. Rate protection recognizes that members commit to multi-year leases and need a stable allowance until they move.
But those newly assigned to areas with falling rental costs in 2017 will receive lower housing allowance than currently paid to settled peers. Of course their rental costs also should be lower, officials noted.
When recalculating rates, Defense officials gather fresh rental cost data from across the United States but local military housing offices direct such data collection away from apartment complexes and individual housing units deemed unsuitable for the military.
Again this year some areas will see large BAH hikes, such as an average 12 percent pop in Everett, Wash., and others sharp declines such as an average 11 percent drop in Minot, N.D, and 9 percent slide in Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Service members living off base overseas dont receive BAH. Instead they get an Overseas Housing Allowance based on what individual members actually pay to rent local housing. OHA gets adjusted periodically to keep pace with the dollars changing value against local currency.
Food allowances Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) rates will not change Jan. 1 because food prices were flat the past year. Monthly food allowance for officers will remain at $253.63 per month and enlisted BAS at $368.29. BAS, by law, is adjusted to keep pace with at-home food costs for males, ages 19 to 52, as tracked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
So... someone familiar with the numbers please chime in - do we allot more moeny for housing to the troops who protect our nation and our lives, families, and property, or do we allot more to those who collect welfare and other, comparable, entitlements?
Don’t forget these amounts are in addition to their pay....I was a JAG officer on active duty.
So... the pay is good for someone who lays his life on the line to defend others...
Fortunately, we no longer have the draft. The quality of the all volunteer Armed Forces is far superior to a drafted Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, no amount of combat pay can compensate for the individual risk each combatant takes on.
Go here to figure it out, but the increase averages $43.00 more
oops..., forgot to post this http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
It’s an age-old question, isn’t it.
I mean, what sort of compensation is adequate and appropriate for a guy who lays it all on the line for us.
On the one hand, no amount of money will answer; on the other hand, the guys should at least have a good life, whatever that means, so...
Don’t ask me, I have no idea. But I’m in awe of the guys who put themselves in harm’s way for me and mine.
That's about it.
Military family and the pain of long, and multiple, deployments:
Illegal Invaders lining up for free EBT, welfare, and Section 8 subsidized housing:
Are payments for off-base housing and food limited to those service members who are legally married?
Landlords know these BHA’s and raise the rent accordingly unfortunately.
Guess it’s like sec 8 housing. I say transfer the troops around to competitive states and have the POTUS give them a DIRECT ORDER to vote.
The top picture brings tears to my eyes while the bottom picture makes me sick to my stomach.
BAQ as we called it never met a married Service man’s needs at the lower ranks, all base housing went to Brass. Still does.
YES! Active duty pay raise was less than 3%, and out of that comes income taxes and CHAMPUS health ins for family.
Car, House, ins, rent, utilities, car payments, etc. BAQ as we called it in the day was never sufficient to allow decent housing or provide for your family if the wife didn’t work you couldn’t make it all month. Both raises should be doubled at least. Brass should not have first choice in base housing either. They can afford to live off base.
Active Duty ping.
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