Average Housing Allowance Will Rise in 2024, But Still Won’t Cover Full Costs

Average Housing Allowance Will Rise in 2024, But Still Won’t Cover Full Costs
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DoD’s recently released housing allowance rates include an average increase of 5.4% – an adjustment that falls short of fully covering housing costs for servicemembers and their families.


For years, MOAA has advocated for legislation to repeal Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate reductions enacted in past defense bills. The cumulative impact of these cuts has topped $8 billion since 2015, money saved on the backs of servicemembers in the face of soaring rental prices nationwide. Restoring BAH to cover 100% of average local housing expenses is critical to putting money back in our servicemembers’ pockets.



[TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pay Full Housing Costs for Servicemembers]


The BAH Restoration Act would undo phased BAH reductions that allow DoD to pay just 95% of estimated housing costs, requiring each servicemember to cover out-of-pocket costs the Pentagon should be paying. For an E-5 with dependents, out-of-pocket costs reach $118 per month, or just over $1,400 per year. For an O-3 with dependents, they can be $141 per month, or nearly $1,700 per year.


The 2024 Rates

BAH rates vary by location and dependents – click here to see your 2024 rate – and major changes were made to many military housing areas based on the area’s housing costs.


The largest increases:

  • Without Dependents: New York City; Hawaii County; Santa Fe/Los Alamos, N.M.; Long Island; Naval Ordnance Station Indian Head, Md. (outside Washington, D.C.)
  • With Dependents: New York City; Hawaii County; Florida Keys; Maui County, Hawaii; San Luis Obispo, Calif.


BAH didn’t increase in all locations. These areas saw the largest decreases, with average regional rental prices falling:

  • Without Dependents: San Francisco; Houston; Peoria, Ill.; Nellis Air Force Base/Las Vegas; Lake Charles, La.
  • With Dependents: Nantucket, Mass.; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Bremerton, Wash.; Brownsville, Texas.


(Note: Per DoD, “No matter what happens to measured housing costs – including the out-of-pocket expense adjustment – an individual member who maintains uninterrupted BAH eligibility in each location will not experience a BAH rate decrease unless the member receives a reduction in paygrade or change in dependency status.”) 


MOAA Works for You

In addition to backing the BAH Restoration Act, MOAA will continue comprehensive advocacy to expand housing support across the uniformed services community. We urge Congress to keep pushing for full, consistent funding of on-base, privatized, and remote housing. Competitive compensation that fully covers costs of living is vital to retention and readiness.


MOAA will not stop fighting until servicemembers receive every dime they have earned through their service to our nation to house their families. We thank champions on Capitol Hill who have prioritized fixing underfunded housing stipends, and we will keep working with lawmakers to undo damaging BAH rate reductions. Our servicemembers deserve nothing less.


MOAA Looks Out For You

MOAA is committed to protecting the rights of servicemembers and their families. Lend your voice and support these efforts today. Because the larger our voice is, the greater our impact will be.


About the Author

Cory Titus
Cory Titus

Titus separated from the Army in 2017 as a captain and is MOAA's Director of Veteran Benefits and Guard/Reserve Affairs. He is currently studying social entrepreneurship at George Mason University with a focus on improving military financial education.