The Department of Defense has released the 2022 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates. BAH rates will increase an average of 5.1 percent when the new rates take effect on January 1, 2022. An estimated $25.6 billion will be paid to approximately one million service members. The temporarily increased BAH rates, effective October 1, 2021 for 56 military housing areas across the country, will expire on December 31, 2021 and will be replaced by the 2022 BAH rates.
The 2022 BAH rates, as part of a robust military compensation package, continue the member cost-sharing element at five percent of the national average housing cost by pay grade. These amounts vary by grade and dependency status and range from $74 to $168 monthly for the 2022 rates. Even with this cost-sharing element, the overall military pay and benefits package remains competitive and healthy.
The Department collects rental housing cost data annually for approximately 300 military housing areas in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. An important part of the BAH rate-setting process is cooperation from the Services and local military housing offices in the data collection effort. Local commands provide input, which is used to determine neighborhoods and locations where data is collected.
Median current market rent and average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) comprise the total housing cost for each military housing area and are included in the BAH computation. Total housing costs are developed for six housing profiles (based on dwelling type and number of bedrooms) in each military housing area. BAH rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents.
An integral part of the BAH program is the provision of individual rate protection to all members. No matter what happens to measured housing costs – including the out-of-pocket expense adjustment – an individual member who maintains uninterrupted BAH eligibility in a given location will not see his/her BAH rate decrease. This ensures members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if the area’s housing costs decrease.
The Department is committed to the preservation of a compensation and benefit structure that provides members with an adequate standard of living to sustain a trained, experienced, and ready force now and in the future.