More Troops to Receive a Temporary 2022 BAH Increase

The Department of Defense approved another set of temporary increases to troops’ basic allowance for housing (BAH) stipends.

Twenty-eight military housing areas in 17 states will receive an automatic increase to offset average 2022 rent increases of 20% or more, according to a DOD memorandum.

DOD implemented a similar BAH rate increase in 2021 for 56 housing areas after a leaked memorandum requesting the temporary hikes began circulating on social media.

The 2021 BAH rate increases ranged from an extra $816 to $4,296 and remained in effect through the calendar year.

2022 BAH Increase is Automatic

Last year service members had to apply for the increased BAH allowance and prove that they have incurred higher costs due to increasing housing prices.

DOD said it will automatically apply this year’s BAH increase to eligible troops’ paychecks, beginning in October.

Historic Inflation Has Affected Housing Costs

BAH is an untaxed allowance to cover housing costs for service members who live in communities surrounding military bases. But, the stipend hasn’t been sufficient to offset costs in some areas since the Covid-19 pandemic tipped the housing market in favor of sellers and landlords.

Loosened restrictions on travel and PCS moves in 2021 created an influx of military moves, increasing military housing demand.

Military families are especially affectefd by the rental cost increases. About two-thirds of service members and their families live in communities surrounding military installations. More than 76% pay over $200 out-of-pocket each month for housing costs, according to the 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

Our Service members and families must be able to secure affordable basic needs,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III wrote when he directed the 2022 BAH increases. “It is a matter of bedrock financial security and a critical individual readiness issue.”

How DOD Calculates BAH Increases

DOD said its decision comes after five months of housing data collection in 300 military housing areas across the country.

Every year DOD evaluates each of these housing areas separately, as there are distinct rental market conditions in each location, according to DOD spokesman Charlie Dietz.

Within each housing area, DOD consideres prices for apartments, townhomes and single family homes from March and August 2022, when housing markets are most active.

Temporary 2022 BAH Increases Will Not Carry Over Into 2023

Like last year’s temporary BAH hike, 2022’s increased rates will expire when 2023 BAH rates take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

BAH rates are on track to increase by 4.2% in 2023, according to a draft of next year’s defense budget. However, Austin directed DOD to review 2023 BAH rates to ensure the increase reflects “the unusually dynamic fluctuations in the housing market.”

Who Receives the 2022 BAH Increase?

Here are the military housing areas eligible for the BAH hike.

Northeast

  • Delaware: Dover Air Force Base and Rehoboth
  • Massachussets: Boston, Cape Cod, Plymouth and Martha’s Vineyard
  • New Jersey: Northern New Jersey
  • Rhode Island: Newport and Providence
  • Maine: Brunswick and Coastal Maine

South

  • Florida: Patrick Air Force Base, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Volusia County and Fort Myers Beach
  • Georgia: Kings Bay and Brunswick
  • North Carolina: Wilmington
  • South Carolina: Beaufort and Parris Island
  • Tennessee: Knoxville
  • Texas: Houston
  • Virginia: Quantico and Woodbridge

Midwest

  • Illinois: Chicago
  • Missouri: Fort Leonard Wood

West

  • California: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Twenty Nine Palms Marine Corps Base and San Diego
  • Hawaii: Maui County
  • Montana: Helena