By: Williamsburg Military Insider
2012 Basic Allowance for Housing rates will rise an average 2 percent next year, here in Hampton Roads, to include, Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex.
See the rates
When rates go up, all service members in a given location get the increase. But when rates dip, the military’s “individual rate protection” policy ensures that troops already settled in a location will not see their BAH decrease for as long as they remain in that location, assuming no change in dependency status or a reduction in pay grade.
That policy assures that troops who have signed long-term leases are not penalized if housing costs in their area fall.
BAH rates remain high by historical standards. Until 2005, troops were expected to cover some of their housing costs out of their own pockets. But Congress changed the law, and now the Pentagon gives troops 100 percent of estimated housing costs for their area.
Median rental costs are only one factor in the complex formula officials use to determine BAH rates. It also includes the average utilities costs and renter’s insurance rates. The Pentagon analyzes that data annually for 365 U.S. housing markets, including Alaska and Hawaii.
The Defense Department will pay out a total of about $20 billion in BAH, a slight uptick from last year’s total of about $19 billion. More than 1 million troops receive BAH to cover housing off post or rent in privatized housing complexes on military installations.
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