Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

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BAH is an allowance to offset the cost of housing when you do not receive government-provided housing. Your BAH depends upon your location, pay grade and whether you have dependents. BAH rates are set by surveying the cost of rental properties in each geographic location. Therefore, BAH rates in high-cost areas will be much greater than those in low-cost areas. BAH rates are published on the Per Diem Committee web page:


Additionally, there are different types of BAH to compensate for special situations. 


BAH Calculator

BAH Levels and Increases

The Secretary of Defense announced a major FY2001 Budget initiative to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for off-base housing in the United States. This action reduced service members' out-of-pocket costs for housing from an average of 18.8 percent of monthly housing costs in 2000 to 15 percent in 2001, with continued reductions each year thereafter. Average out-of-pocket costs were entirely eliminated in 2005.

Average rental costs in particular locations fluctuate, both up and down. BAH rates for an area may follow both the increases and decreases of average rental costs, but no individual’s rate will decrease.

Different Types of BAH

There are several types of BAH to satisfy various housing situations that occur among military members. In general, the amount of BAH you receive depends on your location, pay grade, and whether you have dependents. Under most circumstances, you receive BAH for the location where you are assigned, not where you live. Additionally, you may be entitled to some BAH amounts if you are residing separately from your dependents. This occurs in situations involving unaccompanied overseas tours or having a dependent child that resides with a former spouse. The rules regarding these situations can become quite complex. Consult your Finance Office if you are in one of these situations. Each type of BAH is described below.

BAH With Dependents and BAH Without Dependents

A member with permanent duty within the 50 United States, who is not furnished government housing, is eligible for Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), based on the member's dependency status at the permanent duty ZIP Code. A member stationed overseas, including U.S. protectorates, who is not furnished government housing, is eligible for Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) based on the member's dependency status. If a member is serving an UNACCOMPANIED overseas tour, the member is eligible for BAH at the "with dependents" rate, based on the dependent's US residence ZIP Code, plus OHA at the "without dependents" rate, if the member is not furnished government housing overseas.

Partial BAH

A member without dependents who is living in government quarters is entitled to a Partial BAH.

BAH II (Reserve Component/Transit)

BAH-II (RC/T) is the housing allowance for members in particular circumstances, for example, reservists on active duty less than 30 days. It also applies when a member is in transit from selected areas where no prior BAH rate existed. It does not vary by geographic location. BAH-II (RC/T) was set based on the old Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), which was based on the national average for housing. BAH-II is published annually and is determined by increasing the previous year's table by the percentage growth of housing costs.


BAH-DIFF is the housing allowance amount for a member who is assigned to single-type quarters and who is authorized a basic allowance for housing solely by reason of the member's payment of child support. A member is not entitled to BAH-DIFF if the monthly rate of that child support is less than the BAH-DIFF. BAH-DIFF is determined by the SECDEF and was equal to the difference between BAH-II with dependents and BAH-II without dependents in 1997 for the member's grade. BAH-Diff is published annually and is determined by increasing the previous year's table by the percentage growth of the military pay raise. For more information contact your finance office or consult Section 260416, Chapter 26 FMR.