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Basic Allowance for Housing

Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, provides uniformed service members equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets within the 50 U.S. states when government quarters are not provided.

BAH is not intended to cover all of a service member’s housing costs. The opportunity for Service members to choose their off-base housing is important to DoD. Each member has the freedom to decide how to allocate their income (including the housing allowance) without a penalty for deciding to conserve some dollars on rent to pay other expenses. Therefore, actual out-of-pocket expense for an individual may be higher or lower than the prescribed rate based on choice of housing.

Allowances reflect the costs associated with household rental. Generally, rental prices change between 2%-5% from year to year. Housing allowances typically change accordingly.

To lookup rates, use the BAH calculator.

Individual rate protection prevents a member from receiving a lower BAH rate than the previous year, as long as the BAH eligibility status of a service member remains unchanged. This ensures that members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized when area housing costs decrease. Service members are entitled to the BAH rates published 1 January or the amount of housing allowance they received on 31 December, whichever is larger. Rate protection continues unless the status of a service member changes due to:

  • Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
  • Reduction in paygrade
  • Change in dependency status

BAH distinguishes between with-dependents and without-dependents, not the number of dependents. After a service member arrives at a new duty station, rate protection applies. The service member will receive any published increase, but no decrease, in BAH if their status remains the same.

Non-locality BAH is a basic housing allowance for Service members under the following circumstances:

  • Reservists on active duty for less than 30 days.
  • Service members in transit from select areas where no prior BAH rate exists.
  • Service members who live in government housing and pay child support, also known as BAH-Diff or BAH Differential. Service members who pay child support and live on the local economy are eligible to receive the “with dependent” BAH rate for their locality.

Find older rates using the BAH Archive.

BAH-Differential, or BAH-DIFF, is the housing allowance amount for a member who is assigned to single-type quarters and who is authorized a BAH solely by reason of the member's payment of child support. A member is not authorized BAH-DIFF if the monthly rate of that child support is less than the BAH-DIFF amount. The BAH-DIFF amounts, originally calculated in 1997, are updated annually based on changes in the Basic Pay tables. For more information contact your servicing finance office or consult DoD FMR, Volume 7A [PDF, 116 pages], pars. 260301 and 260504.

The primary source for specific entitlement questions is the local finance office or command. If additional information is needed, contact your Service BAH Representative listed below. All electronic inquiries must include the written response provided by your chain of command.

If you have already contacted your local chain of command and/or your local transportation, personnel, or servicing finance office with a question about regulations or allowances and still need help, contact us for further assistance

Air Force

Air Force personnel MUST contact the local finance office for specific entitlement questions who, in turn, will contact the MAJCOM, if necessary.


Army personnel must contact MACOM RM:

Coast Guard | 202-475-5398

Marine Corps

Contact your local finance office or command for specific entitlement questions before addressing to the USMC BAH representative. | 703-784-9386

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | 301-713-1045


Individuals should contact local PSD or command regarding specific entitlement questions before contacting the Navy BAH representative.

OPNAV N130C | 703-604-5477

Public Health Service | 240-276-8799

In response to the ongoing housing market effects of the recent Maui wildfires, the Department of Defense has authorized temporary 2024 BAH rate increases for recipients stationed in Maui, HI [PDF, 1 page]. The increased rates are approximately 11% higher than the current 2024 Maui BAH rates for each pay grade.


A temporary increase in BAH rates results in two different BAH rates for Service members assigned to the same ZIP Code. To receive the higher BAH rate, a Service member must a.) be assigned to a Maui, HI zip code, and b.) certify to their Service/local command that he or she incurred higher housing costs between July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 due to the major disaster.

Command/Service Approval

Maui members seeking to obtain the BAH temporary increase must seek approval through their local command through the approval process determined by the relevant Service. If the total housing expense (rent or mortgage plus utility expenses) from the Service member's certification is less than the existing BAH rate, no increase will be authorized. If the Service approves a member to receive the increased rate, the temporary increase rate is effective either a.) the effective date of the increased rate or b.) the date the Service member started incurring the increased expenses, whichever is later.


By law, these rates are temporary, and expire on December 31, 2024. New 2025 BAH rates, effective January 1, 2025, will reflect market changes throughout the remainder of this summer and may differ from the 2024 temporarily increased BAH rates.