HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Paying for housing should be a little easier for Airmen at Hill Air Force Base this year.
The Department of Defense released its 2016 Basic Allowance for Housing rates last month, and service members will see an average increase of 3.4 percent, or about $54 per month.
According to a DoD press release, an estimated $21 billion will be paid to approximately 1 million service members with the new rate increase.
And the news is even better at Hill where BAH rates will increase an average of 7.5 percent for base military members with dependents and 8.4 percent for those without dependents. The new rates went into effect on Jan. 1.
The highest BAH increases will be seen among staff and technical sergeants with dependents, and first and second lieutenants with dependents, with their rates increasing 10 to 12 percent. The smallest increase will be realized by lieutenants without dependents, with only a 2 percent bump.
Other ranks will all receive a 5 percent or higher housing allowance increase, the Hill PA office said.
The military sets housing allowance rates by taking market data from more than 300 military housing locations across the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. The DoD looks at average rent and utility costs in each of the areas, and then, based on the type of house, number of bedrooms and the presence of dependents, sets rates for each area.
The allowance is paid once a month, but only to service members who live in off-base private housing. The program includes individual rate protection, which means that despite what happens to measured housing costs, service members won’t see rate decreases during the time they spend living in one area.
The DoD says the policy allows for budget stability among those with long-term lease or contract commitments.
Service members can calculate their 2016 allowance by using the BAH calculator at www.defensetravel.dod.mil.