The Department is increasing BAH rates in certain Military Housing Areas (MHAs) because of unusually large spikes in median rental housing costs in some areas (an average of more than 20 percent), which has made it especially challenging for Service members and their families in the affected MHAs to find affordable housing in the vicinity of their duty stations.
No. The 2022 BAH increases are automatic. Service members do not have to apply for the increased BAH rates, nor are they required to certify they have incurred higher housing costs.
The BAH rate increases are effective as of October 1, 2022 and will continue through December 31, 2022. 2023 BAH rates will replace these automatically increased rates on January 1, 2023.
No. Although, normal BAH rate protection―which protects members from decreases in housing market costs―does not apply to these automatic rate increases, DoD is making every effort to ensure these rates remain as stable as possible and will not vary considerably from the 2023 BAH rates.
Service members who are receiving BAH based on one of the affected 28 MHAs will receive the increase automatically. A member who is eligible for the higher BAH rate will remain eligible through December 31, 2022, unless a BAH status change occurs (e.g., promotion, demotion, dependency change) or the member has a permanent change of station (PCS) to a new permanent duty station (PDS).
No. Your eligibility for your automatic BAH increase ends on the date you are no longer authorized BAH for that location. However, if your new duty is in another affected MHA, you would be eligible for the increased BAH rate at the new PDS.
A member reporting to a new PDS in one of the affected MHAs during October - December (the period when increased rates are in effect) will receive the automatically increased BAH rate.
The automatic BAH rate increases apply only to Service members who receive BAH based on one of the 28 affected MHAs in the United States. It does not apply to the Overseas Housing Allowance. However, if you are stationed overseas, but receive BAH based on the location of your dependents who reside in one of the affected MHAs, or receive BAH based on your former duty station that is in one of the affected MHAs, you are eligible for the increased BAH rate.
Rental housing market data collected by DoD from March - August 2022 indicates rental housing costs in the 28 MHAs increased more than 20 percent over 2022 BAH rates. Other areas may have experienced overall rental cost increases as well, but not to the same degree as the 28 affected MHAs. To help ease the financial burden of rising housing costs facing Service members moving to new duty stations or signing new leases, the Department moved quickly to assess market changes across the country, determine which markets are most affected, and implement an automatic change in BAH rates in those areas.
There is no process for an installation to request reconsideration of the BAH increase. The Department is currently in the process of setting 2023 BAH rates for all MHAs, which will be effective January 1, 2023.
The Department relied upon verified, quality-controlled rental housing cost data collected in over 300 MHAs across the country during the period March - August 2022 (when housing markets are most active) to make its decisions about whether automatic increases were needed and where to apply them. Data was collected in every MHA for each of six housing types (1 and 2-bedroom apartments; 2 and 3-bedroom townhomes; and, 3 and 4-bedroom single family homes). For each housing type, the Department used total housing cost data (median rent and average utilities) to calculate the average rate of increase across the medians of all six housing types to determine whether an MHA should be considered for a temporary BAH increase. The rental cost data was collected as part of the Department’s annual process used to set BAH rates each January. Refer to the BAH Primer [PDF, 12 pages], for additional detail on the BAH data collection and rate-setting processes.