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Housing Allowance

What is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Basic Allowance for Housing or BAH is another significant component of the military pay package. Housing allowances are not subject to taxes. Service members are provided government quarters or a cash substitute when quarters are not available to them. More than 900,000 service members stationed in the United States receive Basic Allowance for Housing or BAH and this component increases with rank. BAH is also determined by the location of the service member and whether he or she has dependents.

Basic Allowances for Housing or BAH can vary from as much as $3,464 monthly for married officers in an expensive location such as San Francisco to only $428 monthly for a single enlisted E-1 living in a less expensive location. Basic Housing Allowance rates or BAH rates are determined by surveys of the civilian housing market in over 350 United States locations. In 2006 BAH rates increased by 4.4 percent ranging from $1,429.20 monthly for a general to $285.30 for an E-1 without dependents.

 

Basic Housing Allowance II or BAH II

This is the Basic Housing Allowance policy for troops in transit or reservists. BAH II does not vary by location. Basic Housing Allowance II or BAH II is for specific circumstances such as troops in transit from overseas and reservists on active duty. Reservists now qualify for full BAH when they are mobilized for more than 30 days. Those reservists mobilized for less than 30 days will receive 1/30th of their normal full BAH rate for each day on active duty.

 

Basic Housing Allowance II Differential or BAH II Differential

Single service members who live on base and pay child support may qualify for BAH II Differential. The range varies from $92.10 to $277.50 per month. In order to qualify, the amount of child support paid must be equal to or greater than the BAH differential.

 

Temporary Lodging Allownace (TLA) & Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

Temporary Lodging Allowance or TLA covers the cost of temporary housing outside the continental United States when moving to or from an overseas assignment. The amount is bases on the per diem rate set for the service member's permanent station of duty and on the location of his or her location.

Temporary Lodging Expense or TLA is provided to cover the housing costs for up to ten (10) days at the beginning and end of moves in the continental United States. TLA provides up to $180 per day. There is also an allowance for moves to locations outside the continental United States and provides $180 per day for up to five (5) days. Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is not subject to taxes.

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Geographic Rate Protection

The Pentagon implemented a plan called “geographic rate protection” that prevented BAH rates from dropping in any area in which housing costs declined in any given year. On January 1, 2006 after the completion of the five-year BAH Improvement Plan, geographic rate protection was dropped and allowances can vary each year as locations move up or down. The five year BAH Improvement Plan increased rates nationwide and eliminated a gap in housing costs averaging about 19 percent that service members had to previously pay. The Basic Housing Allowance or BAH also has Individual Rate Protection. Service members who receive BAH at a duty station will continue to receive the same rate even if housing costs in that area should decline over time. Newly arriving service members receive the lower BAH rate. BAH should cover 100 percent of the average housing cost unless the service member wants larger accommodations and this results in additional out of pocket expenses for them.

 

Overseas Housing Allowances

Military personnel who are overseas and living off base receive Overseas Housing Allowance or OHA and this amount changes based on the exchange rate. Overseas Housing Allowance or OHA is based o the amount of the service member's lease up to an authorized ceiling for a given location. Approximately 57,000 service members receive Overseas Housing Allowance or OAH and the average is in excess of $1,500 monthly.

 

 Temporary Lodging Allownace (TLA) & Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

Temporary Lodging Allowance or TLA covers the cost of temporary housing outside the continental United States when moving to or from an overseas assignment. The amount is bases on the per diem rate set for the service member's permanent station of duty and on the location of his or her location.

Temporary Lodging Expense or TLA is provided to cover the housing costs for up to ten (10) days at the beginning and end of moves in the continental United States. TLA provides up to $180 per day. There is also an allowance for moves to locations outside the continental United States and provides $180 per day for up to five (5) days. Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is not subject to taxes.

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MILITARY ALLOWANCES
Clothing Allowances | Cost of Living Allowances | Dependent Allowances | Housing Allowances | Personal Money Allowances | Subsistence Allowance