The Department of Defense released today the 2012 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, which take effect Jan. 1, 2012. Overall rates will increase an average of 2 percent this year.
For members with dependents, average increases in BAH are approximately $39 per month. A typical E-6 with dependents, for example, will find his/her BAH about $35 per month higher than last year, while an O-3 with dependents will receive about $40 more than last year.
In areas where rates will decrease, the decrease will only apply to members newly reporting to those locations. Members are protected by individual rate protection which ensures that those already assigned to a given location will not see their BAH rate decrease; however, they will receive the increase if the rate goes up. This assures 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.
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 calculated for six housing profiles (based on dwelling type and number of bedrooms) in each military housing area. Basic Allowance for Housing rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents. An estimated $20 billion will be paid to over 1 million service members in 2012.
For more information on BAH, visit https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm .