milspouse, PCS

What is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

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The military loves its acronyms.  It’s no wonder why.  Many times the titles of facilities, benefits, and programs are often incredibly wordy and sometimes don’t really make sense.  If you ask many newer or younger military personnel or their family members what many acronyms stand for, they wouldn’t be able to tell you.  BAH is no different.  The basic allowance for housing is something that every military member receives.  It’s something that every military member depends on.

 

What is Basic Allowance for Housing?

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a stipend that is paid out in active duty members’ paycheck.  Every service member gets it.  Period.  Most people consider it to be part of their salary since, without it, it would be seriously difficult to make ends meet.

Who Gets Basic Allowance for Housing?

So we’ve already established that everyone gets it.  However, there are circumstances where it is reduced or completely held.  How could that be?  Easy.  First it is completely held in lower enlisted ranks where the service member is required to live in the barracks.  Since the government is providing them a place to live, why would they also allot them funding for housing?

Another instance is when a military member and their family choose to live in on-post housing.  On post housing traditionally costs as much as BAH, so you can kind of think of it as paying the government for the house.  Now that on post housing is becoming privatized and more and more people are choosing to live off post, lots of on post housing is being offered at a discount.  This means they only take part of your BAH.

So How Much is Basic Allowance for Housing?

BAH is awarded on a scale depending on the service member’s rank, time in service, and whether or not they have a family.  So a married private who has been in for 1 year earns a different BAH than a single captain that has been on active duty for 5 years.  Basic Allowance for Housing also changes depending on where you are located.  The cost of living is always taken into consideration.  And thank goodness for that.  We all know a home in rural Kansas costs less than one in a suburb of Seattle. You can look up what your BAH would be in your area at this website.

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4 thoughts on “What is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

  1. Yes, without BAH we would really be struggling here in San Diego. It is very important and allows for our son to be in a great school and great community.

  2. Thanks for providing us a window into your world. House ownership is important is a basic need which every one must have access to. It is important that our military members are afforded access given the yeoman service they provide for the nation.

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