Average 3.8% Military Housing Rate & Allowance Increase for U.S. Service Members
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for 2013 are now available on the TDY Lodging website for government travel.
Military BAH rates throughout 2013 are an increase of 3.8% on average, with a corresponding decrease at roughly one in five locations. The updated 2013 Military BAH Rates are the largest average increase in four years according to defense officials. Despite an overall average increase, approximately one in five locations will see a rate decrease.
Matt Foster of TDY Lodging noted, "this pay raise should help to offset some of the housing costs for military service members living off base, although in many cases this housing allowance increase does not go far enough. It's simply a game of catch up for many military families because while housing and rental prices have remained flat, in most markets utility costs have increased significantly over the last several years due to increasing energy costs."
The chief real estate economist for iRent recently provided shareholders with a rental market analysis near 100 major metropolitan areas, which indicates that the decrease in housing pay at roughly one in every five military locations can be attributed to the ongoing slump in the housing market.
Matt Foster went on to note, "Although we would have liked to see a higher increase to make up for utility costs, this is a step in the right direction. BAH rates are determined by independent housing market surveys of rental rates and utility costs near locations where the allowance is paid, which includes all major metropolitan cities and towns surrounding military bases."
Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients will also see changes in the BAH rate allowances, which is a stipend based on the housing rate for an E-5 with dependents in the ZIP code where the veteran attends school.
Under a Department of Defense policy known as "individual rate protection," military members are protected from seeing a reduction in their current rate if the New Year has a decrease in housing allowance.
The most significant rate increases are at Altus Air Force Base, OK, where the average BAH was raised 14 percent compared with 2012 levels. Airmen at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., have had their rates jump by around 12 percent. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., which is located near other Washington, DC Military Bases had their rates rise 11 percent, as have soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines assigned to the island of Oahu's, Hawaii Military Bases.
The biggest reduction in BAH pay is 7.5 percent at Monterey, Calif., which houses the Naval Postgraduate School, according to defense officials.
TDY Lodging previously listed the Government Services Administration (GSA) 2013 Federal Per Diem Rates. As a result of sequestration, the GSA decided to keep per diem rates the same to help stabilize federal spending. Estimates for 2014 Military BAH rates and 2014 Per Diem Rates will be posted later in the year.
About TDY Lodging
All of the hotels and furnished corporate housing providers featured on TDY Lodging are independently managed and operated. Government travelers can book hotels and furnished rental properties at per diem rates. These same rates are also available to federal and state government personnel including civilians and contractors. Hoteliers and corporate housing providers get commission free reservations and are able to free up excess inventory to government travelers.