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DoD releases Basic Allowance for Housing rates
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The Department of Defense last week released the 2011 Basic Allowance for Housing rates, which take effect Jan. 1. While overall rates will decrease an average of 0.59 percent, because of the individual rate protection provision, the average change service members will see is a 1.1 percent increase.

Individual rate protection ensures that individuals already assigned to a given location will not see their BAH rate decrease, though they will receive the increase if the rate goes up. This assures that 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. Any decreases only apply to members newly reporting to a location.

A typical junior enlisted member with dependents will find his/her BAH about $39 per month higher than last year, while a senior non-commissioned officer with dependents will receive about the same amount as last year.

Three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat and water/sewer) and average renter’s insurance.

Total housing costs are calculated 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 estimated $19 billion will be paid to more than one million service members in 2011.

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