The overall average military Basic Allowance for Housing rates across the country has dropped for the first time since 1998, the year BAQ was replaced by BAH. The 0.6 percent drop reflects a decrease in the average rental costs across the over 400 designated military housing areas.
Fortunately about 400,000 active duty service members will see their BAH protected from a rate drop Jan. 1; thanks to ?individual rate protection,? which was adopted by Congress nine years ago.
You can also view the 2009 and 2010 BAH rate tables:
According to the DoD, BAH rates now make it possible for servicemembers to have zero out-of-pocket expense — for servicemembers living in civilian rented housing. Since 2008 the BAH rates are directly related to the cost increases of the local rental housing markets.
Although BAH rates will generally either remain stable or increase, there may be some areas that decrease due to a decreasing local rental market. However, individual rate protection will still apply. Individual rate protection prevents the decrease of a BAH rate as long as the status of a servicemember remains unchanged. The servicemember who is already attached to his or her unit and receiving BAH will receive any published BAH increase, but no decrease. When the new BAH rates go into effect, rate protection assures that the servicemembers typical out-of-pocket costs may be less, but never more, than upon their reporting date.