Marines stationed at Parris Island, left, and 27 more bases and cities will receive a 20% boost in BAH starting in October.
Pentagon officials announced that troops stationed in 28 high-cost areas will receive a major Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, increase in their paychecks, starting in October, to keep pace with skyrocketing rents.
Of the 28 locations, six are in Florida, three are in California, and three are in Massachusetts, with the others spread among 14 other states. They include major cities, such as San Diego, Chicago, and Houston, as well as high-priced suburban and rural areas, such as coastal Maine, Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Volusia County, Florida.
The 28 locations were chosen because each area has "experienced an average of more than 20 percent spike in rental housing costs this year above this year’s BAH rates," the release states.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur undergoes maintenance at Naval Base San Diego. US Navy photo by Mass Communications Chief Joe Kane.
The BNA is a supplemental allowance for service members with dependents who apply and qualify based on their gross household income. The Pentagon's director of military compensation, Jeri Busch, said that BAH increases would vary by location, rank, and family size. A service member with an E6 rank and dependents could see as much as $198 more per month in Kings Bay, Georgia, which is home to major Navy bases. But in Boston, an E5 could see a boost of $1,100.
The BAH increase will cover more than 100,000 service members, according to the Pentagon. The full list of locations receiving the bump is as follows:
The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ashley Berumen.
Pentagon officials announced several other initiatives to put money in military members' pockets and otherwise help with their quality of life, including an expansion of the Basic Needs Allowance starting in January. The BNA is extra pay available to junior enlisted members living in high-income areas, often with larger families.
The BNA is calculated to supplement a service member's pay so that his gross household income stays about 130% of the federal poverty guidelines for his location. The federal guidelines are computed using local income information and family size.
The pay bumps could range from as little as $990 per year to more than $30,000 for an E1 with a very large family, Busch said.
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Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.
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