Most active-duty service members who plan to buy a home in the coming year will rely on their Basic Allowance for Housing to make the math work.

And while troops will see an average increase of $10 a month in 2018’s BAH rates, that figure varies wildly based on location. Rates are set using area cost-of-living metrics, so just because there’s a nationwide uptick doesn’t mean you’ll see higher rates where you’re stationed.

However, you won’t see lower rates: Troops receiving the old BAH rate for their location will continue to do so if the new one is lower, unless there is a change in their dependent status or their paygrade. This grandfathering practice insulates troops who aren’t on the move from rate swings that could prevent them from living up to established rental or mortgage agreements.

You can get rates for every area on this PDF, but see below for our list of big winners and losers:


Fort Wayne, Ind.14.8%
Stockton, Calif.13.6%
Hawaii County11.5%
Beale Air Force Base, Calif.11.2%
Baton Rouge, La.10.9%
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho10.7%
Bridgeport, Calif.10.3%
Reno/Carson City, Nev.10.0%
Corvallis, Ore.9.7%
San Luis Obispo, Calif.9.1%


Minot Air Force Base, N.D.-10.3%
Alexandria, La.-9.9%
Charleston, W.Va.-9.0%
Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, Mich.-8.9%
Humboldt County, Calif.-8.7%
West Point, N.Y.-8.7%
New York City-8.7%
Fort Knox, Ky.-8.6%
Lexington, Va.-8.0%
Sparta/Fort McCoy, Wis.-7.7%

Do allowance increases in your area have you thinking about home ownership? Check out our VA Loan Center.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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