Guest Post: Military Housing Programs

Brandon Fischer, who writes for VA Benefits Blog, submitted a guest post about Military Housing Programs:
When government housing is not provided, it can be difficult for Navy service members to find adequate housing overseas. For those who are able to come back to the states and find rentals, living expenses can be hard to keep up with while on extended or permanent duty. That’s why the Department of Defense provides both the Basic Allowance for Housing and Overseas Housing Allowance programs.

Both programs allow service members to obtain housing that’s affordable or, as of 2005, with no out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever. It can also help lenders to discover what mortgage payment plan would be best for veterans looking to buy a home through the VA home loan program as opposed to renting.


BAH is for service members who cannot obtain government quarter with the U.S. The DoD compensates the military member, giving him or her a monthly allowance based on the local housing costs in which he or she resides. Other factors determine how much a service member receives such as pay grade and dependency status.

People with dependents can get about $300 more than single persons. Persons without dependents receive what’s called Partial BAH. There’s also BAH II and BAH Diff for persons paying child support.

Sometimes BAH rates are subject to decreases and increases. However, individual rate protection prevents the fluctuations from affecting the service member in a negative way. This also applies to OHA.


Members stationed overseas who are not furnished government housing, are eligible for OHA, according to the DoD. If a member is serving an UNACCOMPANIED overseas tour, the member is eligible for BAH at the "with dependents" and “without dependents” rate.

Overseas housing allowances change bi-weekly. That’s because the overseas housing system is set up to pay service members for both housing and utilities. Rental ceilings oscillate all the time. However, members still dot have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses and can actually net a little extra funds based on the system.

Taking Advantage of All the Opportunities

For Navy members, a whole list of allowances could be accompanied with the BAH and OHA programs. The Navy Times posted a whole spread about the different allowances available.

For Navy members coming back to the states, they might choose to buy a home. Monthly BAH payments could be put towards mortgage payments. And with programs such the VA loan, military personnel could save a lot of money on both monthly and initial costs. If a veteran or active duty member is interested in buying a home with BAH funds, he or she should talk with VA lending consultant as soon as possible.
If anyone else would like to submit guest posts on relevant topics, I'd be happy to look post them (after stripping out any links that are too commercial). Send me an E-mail [joel(dot)bubblehead(at)gmail(dot)com] and let me know if you'd like to write something for posting here.