BAH Rising 5.4%, But Some Bases Are Getting Much More

The Pentagon announced the new basic allowance for housing rates for 2024 on Dec. 14, and the average increase will be 5.4 percent across the board. While that’s less than half of last year’s stunning 12.1 percent jump, it’s still among the biggest increases this decade. 

The new rates kick in Jan. 1, 2024, and increases vary by location. 

BAH is paid based on paygrade, location, and whether or not members have dependents. To find your rate, type your variables into the Defense Department’s BAH calculator.

Historic inflation and skyrocketing housing costs led to huge increases in BAH the Basic Allowance for Subsistence in 2023, and as inflation has ebbed, so have rate increases. BAS will rise only 1.7 percent in 2024. 

The thee Air Force and Space Force locations with the greatest increases are:  

  • Barksdale Air Force Base, La., about 13 percent
  • Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, also about 13 percent 
  • Joint Base Charleston, S.C., about 12 percent.

Other bases getting at least 5 percent increases after topping 15 percent growth last year include: 

  • Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. 
  • Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. 
  • Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. 
  • Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. 
  • Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. 

A few bases did see decreases in BAH, including: 

  • Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. 
  • Beale Air Force Base, Calif. 
  • Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho 
  • Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. 
  • McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. 

Service members who maintained BAH eligibility in those locations will not face cuts. They will continue to receive the same BAH as 2023, ensuring that those “who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized,” the Pentagon said in a statement. 

The Defense Department calculates BAH through annual surveys of roughly 300 rental markets across the country, determining the median price of rent and utilities for six different housing options in each of those markets.

BAH is intended to cover 95 percent of housing costs. For 2024, that means troops’ out-of-pocket expenses for housing range from $85 to $194 per month.

In the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed the Pentagon to produce a report on the “efficiency and accuracy of the current system used to calculate BAH.” That report is still pending, lawmakers noted in their conference report for the 2024 NDAA, explaining why they removed a provision from the bill that would have established a pilot program “to change the method by which the Basic Allowance for Housing rate is calculated,” a move that Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass has advocated.