The Department of Defense has posted the military basic allowance for housing rates for 2020, and, as usual, there are some big winners and some big losers. (Some readers are reporting that the link is giving them difficulties. If you are on an iPhone, you need to open using the three dots instead of clicking through from Facebook. If you are not on an iPhone, you may want to right click, select “copy link address,” and put it into a new tab. I wish I could fix it but it seems to be either a Facebook issue or a DoD issue…)
Important note up front: Thanks to BAH rate protection, or the “grandfather clause,” the only way you lose money is if you are demoted or have a change in dependency status.
BAH is designed to partially compensate military members for the expenses of maintaining a home in lieu of living in military housing. Under the current formula, BAH is designed to cover 95% of rental costs for a house size tied to your rank, and average utility costs for that house.
One of the most common complaints about BAH is that it’s “too low” for housing in that area. In digging down, what I typically find is that families are choosing to live in a house of a larger or different style than the house that their BAH is based upon. Heck, we do…our house is 1 bedroom larger than the housing size linked to my husband’s rank. And there’s nothing wrong with that – the beauty of BAH is that you get to choose your housing – but it often the reason for the discrepancy between the BAH rate and the actual cost of housing.
I’ll have some analysis on these new rates once I’ve had a chance to dig into the data, but I wanted to get this link, grandfather clause rules, and the BAH formula up as soon as possible because we’ve all been waiting for this!
Please leave me a comment telling me whether your BAH went up (or the rate went down but you’ll get the old rate) and whether that seems fair for the area in which you live, based upon the size house you have chosen. I’m really curious to hear folks experiences.
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