Basic Allowance for Housing rate to rise for 2016

U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force

Basic Allowance for Housing rate to rise for 2016

by: Tara Copp | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — Housing allowances across the United States will increase an average of $54 monthly for enlisted and officers when the new rates take effect Jan. 1, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

Rates rose across the board by an average of 3.4 percent, reflecting jumps in rental prices in major cities throughout the United States, according to the 2016 basic housing allowance rates released by the Pentagon.

An estimated $21 billion will be paid to approximately 1 million servicemembers.

Rates varied greatly across cities, even within the same rank. An officer with a one-star general rank or above living with children in San Francisco, Calif., would receive the largest housing allowance in 2016, $5,949 a month. For comparison, a one-star general or above equivalent serving at White Sands Missile Range in Las Cruces, N.M., would receive only $1,470 in basic housing allowance each month.

For enlisted members, an Airman or Private equivalent with children living in San Francisco would receive $4,004 a month, where as their equivalent Airman or Private assigned to Fort Chaffee, Ark., would receive $774 a month.

The military computes basic housing allowance by gathering current market rates on rent, electricity, heat and water and sewer services, then calculates rates for each pay grade with different amounts paid to families with children and without children. The allowance is paid once a month, and is only paid to members who elect to live in off-base private housing. Rates are adjusted each year.

The top five areas that saw the largest gains are: Boston, Mass., 13.9 percent; Vallejo, Calif., 13.5 percent; Seattle, Wash., 13.3 percent; Long Island, N.Y., 13 percent, and Pittsburgh, Pa., 12.8 percent.

Housing cost data is collected annually for more than 300 military housing areas in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

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