2021 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

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2021 Basic Allowance for Housing Rates

What are the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for 2021? The 2021 BAH rates are now available. 

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is based on your pay grade, dependency status and the location of your duty station. It is intended to provide money to cover your housing and related costs in the civilian market when government quarters are not provided. 

If you are living in privatized housing you will receive BAH.

Since 2008 the BAH rates have been directly related to the costs of rental housing in local markets. While BAH changes every year based on the previous year's housing cost averages, individual rate protection prevents your BAH from going down as long as your situation stays the same. If the BAH rate for your location increases on Jan. 1 you will see the increase, if it decreases you will normally not see any decrease.

There are only three ways that you can see your BAH decrease: 

  1. If you PCS to a new location, you will receive the BAH rate that is in effect at that duty station on your report date.
  2. If you are demoted, your BAH will change to the current rate for your lower pay grade, which may be lower than the BAH at your previous pay grade. Promotions won't lower your BAH, even if the higher pay grade has a lower BAH rate than your old pay grade. You will receive whichever rate is higher.
  3. If your dependency status changes (from with-dependent to without-dependent, or vice versa), your BAH will change to the current rate effective on the date of your dependency change. 

The national average BAH rates across the country increased over the last year. As noted above, BAH rates are based on the combination of local costs for rent and utilities for various housing types. Any fluctuation of one or more of those factors in a given location will affect BAH rates for that location. 

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