Fort Hood soldiers who live off-post will see an increase in their housing allowance beginning next month.
The 2014 Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, rates, will increase an average of 5 percent beginning Jan. 1, according to a news release from the Defense Department on Tuesday.
On average, BAH rates for service members with dependents worldwide will increase about $79 per month and $76 for personnel without dependents. However, one government website listed Fort Hood-area BAH increases at more than $100 for some ranks.
“A typical midgrade enlisted member with dependents, for example, will find his/her BAH about $79 per month higher than last year, while a typical junior officer without dependents will find his/her BAH about $76 higher than last year,” according to the release.
For military families in the Fort Hood area, the news of the increased housing pay was welcomed.
“Anything, actually, will help,” said Harker Heights resident Michelle Ferrara, whose husband is a first lieutenant with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
The couple rents a home and has three children.
She called the increased housing allowance “wonderful,” and will go toward rent, electricity and other bills.
“The BAH doesn’t actually cover everything we pay for; it just covers most of it,” Ferrara said.
According to the DOD’s Defense Travel Management Office website, a staff sergeant with dependents living in the 76540 ZIP code will get $1,287 for BAH in 2014, up from $1,119 this year. An Army captain with dependents in the Fort Hood area will get a BAH rate of $1,581 next year, up from $1,491 in 2013.
Three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities, including electricity, heat and water; and average renter’s insurance, according to the news release.
BAH rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents.
An estimated $20 billion will be paid to about 1 million service members in 2014.